Young girls "hidden work" in Rwandan families: Living in the gap between school and labor
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Based on a field work conducted in Kigali, Rwanda in the fall of 2010, this master's thesis aims to highlight a group of girls who often falls out of the official statistics. Girls who are not enrolled in school and do not perform paid labor. By spending their days at home running the family they contribute to the household in different ways that enables the other members of the family to take part in labor and education. In the western world the stage of childhood is traditionally viewed as a time for play, leisure and removed from responsibilities. This thesis shows how a group of girls in Kigali experience the opposite when they, on a daily basis, are left with the responsibilities of running the household. While organizations like the United Nations aims at getting all children out of paid labor and into schools there are still children today experiencing both. Being left out from both the categories of labor and school, these girls are sometimes left behind in the official statistics and not given the needed attention. Through participatory tools and mixed-method research these girls have presented themselves, their families and their lives. Through their stories they show how they are active participants and social actors both economically, on the community level and in the families and how their contribution has significance for the people surrounding them.