M A I N   N E W S

Housewives entitled to wages, says minister
Aditi Tandon/TNS


A UK-based networking site conducted a poll on 4,000 housewives to know the jobs they do everyday and the time they spend caring for children.
The researchers broke down the costs according to the average wages paid to professionals for tasks such as getting children dressed and ready for school, feeding them, helping with homework and getting them ready for bed.
A nanny in the UK working the same hours as an average housewife would make £36.40, as per average hourly wage of £8. Combining this with the monetary worth of tasks chambermaids, accountants, chefs and shoppers would do, the researchers concluded that the annual worth of an average housewife in the UK is £ 29,771.56.

New Delhi, September 4
“Homemaker” is a good word, but there’s little value attached to a homemaker’s job that yields huge gains for the family - well-tended children, well-kept houses, sorted accounts and what not. According to an online survey, an average housewife’s job in the UK is worth £30,000 a year.

Now the Government of India is also working to put an annual cost to a homemaker’s work with a view to give every housewife entitlement to pay. Husbands would have to pay monthly salaries to their wives for discharging the gruelling routine of keeping a home.

Speaking to The Tribune today, Woman and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said her ministry was developing a draft that would detail the monetary worth of an average Indian housewife’s efforts.

“Every housewife has a full-time job of keeping the house, cooking, caring for children, managing household expenditure and accounts. She deserves a monthly salary and husbands must pay that. We are drafting a proposal for giving housewives an entitlement to pay. The ministry is trying to find out the annual financial worth of an average housewife’s efforts and accordingly break it down into her monthly worth. That should be her salary. We will see gradually if we need a law to ensure this entitlement for homemakers,” Tirath told TNS a day after her ministry got the historic Bill to prevent sexual harassment of women at workplaces passed in the Lok Sabha.

Tirath said the move was being contemplated as a measure of economic empowerment for women. “Today housewives are listed in the Census as unemployed. We want to change that mindset. A woman has a full-time job of managing her house and looking after her children, but it is a thankless job. In fact, I am against the term housewives. We should be called house engineers,” Tirath said in defence of the move.

The proposal comes close on the heels of a UK-based networking site for housewives estimating, for the first time, the annual worth of an average British housewife’s job. They made the calculations based on the average wages professionals would get for discharging the work which a housewife does - cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, caring for children, helping them with studies and handling house accounts.

“A nanny working the same hours as an average housewife would earn £36.40, based on an average hourly wage of £8. Housewives accordingly do work worth £29,000 a year,” the researchers in the UK said, demanding that housewives be paid. Importantly, these researchers also found that an average housewife in the UK spent 273 minutes (4.55 hours) a day looking after the children.

In India, a homemaker’s daily investment in children would easily be double that in the UK, ministry sources said.





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