Saturday, September 22, 2012

Should Husbands Pay Wives For Managing The Home?

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This is one question that keeps cropping up again and again. I was single when I read something along the same lines after an American survey some years ago and now I'm reading it as a housewife. This time, the Union Women and Child Development Ministry in India is preparing a draft Bill that would entitle housewives a monthly income from their husbands. Of course, all the debaters are out again in force.

Personally, I believe it is important to recognize the work women do at home, especially as in most cases they carry a disproportionate burden of chores. Wives and moms are usually satisfied by the gratitude and happiness of their husbands and children, as well as the peace and progress of their families, but where the outcome is not so positive, then what? Maybe it makes sense to reward her in cold hard cash.

Indeed, the women and children minister said the Bill, which IBN Live says is likely to be presented before the Indian Parliament within six months, was aimed at empowering women. According to her,

“A majority of women in India are involved in household chores after getting married but they do not get any salary for it. The socially accepted behaviour becomes a tragedy when a woman gets divorced or is widowed when she is left with nothing for survival. The Government is mulling to bring a law under which a husband will have to legally pay a definite amount to his wife from his salary and the Ministry has started preparing a draft in this regard,” Tirath told Express during a telephonic interview from New Delhi on Friday.

“When we are given an equal status by the Constitution, why is it that we have to accept the social condition that takes it for granted that women have to do the household chores? She is no slave and now we have to fight to bring about a change in thinking,” she added.

Since an estimated two-thirds of married Indian women are victims of domestic violence, Tirath believed this economic empowerment would be a welcome respite for them.

Now I won't be surprised if the figures of abused women are similar in Nigeria, and I also will add the number that get separated from their husbands with no child support or alimony. It is indeed a terrible situation that contributes a lot in keeping women down and browbeaten by the men around them.

However, while in concept it sounds great to determine the value of the work women do at home and pay it to them, the truth is that it will be hard to do. How can one even begin to put a price tag on some of those chores? Most women do it from the heart, for them it is not a job. It would just be too problematic to try to monetize housework. Let's look at some gray areas;

1. Women would be cooking and cleaning their own homes anyway, so how do the separate the two, for herself and for the rest of the family?

2. What if the husband is OK with a dusted coffee table but she wants to wax and polish it too? What if the children are fine with fried chicken, but she decides to make coq au vin? Will the husband pay extra for all that?

3. Making it compulsory for the husbands to pay for the house work to wives with a certain percentage of their salaries may create even worse scenarios where the men get resentful, bossy, abusive, or worse.

Finally, how will this law be implemented?


  1. How wil the payments be calculated? Per child ? I guess if the pay is 'cool' many women would be home, and ofcourse their places in the offices would be taken over quickly.
    What if... and what if...?
    Woman aluta is pushing far o. But i think that as a mother the greatest 'pay' for nurturing your children and building a home is the love you get from your family( especially your children) in return. And these cannot be quantified.

  2. Myne I do think woman should get some kind of compensation even though not necessarily formalized. Especially when you consider that these days commitment to family is fickle, look at divorce rates. Some woman make the decision with their partner that one should stay at home with the kids only for one of them to progress in their self development and the woman gets left behind. If they should separate she is left very badly disadvantaged.

    Last year I was mainly a stay at home mom but my husband made a point of giving me "an allowance" for myself to do whatever I wanted. Now considering that I paid nothing for the home out of that, it was enough for me to do the things I like without asking for money.
    If I did not feel the need to work I would have been happy with that arrangement because a woman does have needs she doesn't necessarily want to talk over first all the time. And I think it empowers you when your partner recognizes that you too need a level of independence. This way the woman could even develop in other areas for herself.

  3. I believe every woman who has given up working just to make sure her home is in a good shape, there is always a warm meal on the table, a home that is warm and inviting to guests and children that are well taken care of deserves to be given a certain monetary compenstaion. She needs to be appreciated in cash and kind. I dont believe it should be compulsory. Every woman in this position should be able to talk to their husbands to give them monetary compensation without having to beg and cry for it.

  4. Well, I think a woman should be taken care of by her husband. If she is a housewife, she should be given money to buy herself what she needs. But when it is said like this i.e salary, it just feels somehow. I prefer the man to understand that his wife needs her own money and give her liberally. Give her cash gifts, buy her things she loves etc. In the absence of a house help, a woman would always clean up the house, take care of the kids and cook. Most of the time, we are doing it for ourselves. We all want that warm, clean environment too and we need to eat. Its a marriage not a Boss-employee relationship. Couples should talk about these things and do what's best for them to live happily.

    Dear woman; have you heard about Royal Jelly?

  5. I'll keep things simple with a one word answer - YES
    - The woman is giving up her career
    - It is undignified to expect a woman to scrimp and save to take care of her 'feminine needs'
    - If the man employed a housekeeper to manage his house, he would pay
    - If the man employed a surrogate to have his offspring he would pay

  6. Providing financial support for a woman who is a stay-at-home wife should not be a mandatory requirement, but a decision he should willingly and happily abide by. I believe that a woman who makes the decision to stay-at-home should be respected enough that the husband understands she will need financial support for things that she may want to do. She is making the sacrifice of earning a living herself by building a welcoming home for her family, something that he should not take lightly. I had this exact conversation today with someone who was extremely upset, because her husband was giving her difficulty about giving her money. She did not like the fact that she had to continually go to him to request money when she needed it. I believe that a husband should make money available for his wife so that she can purchase items that she may want to or partake in activities of her choosing without him "nickle and diming" her daily.

    In most cases the dispute of whether or not to give her money can be remedied if this discussion is had prior to marriage. These discussions will eliminate any misunderstandings the couple may encounter down the road. In the case of the person I spoke with, she chose to become a housewife several years into the marriage. For those that pursue this route a conversation should be had about expectations on both parts before the decision is implemented.

    C. Michelle Ramsey

  7. Personally. I think every woman should empower herself financially. There are a no of home employment jobs and in the event that she has to give up her office routine, she should explore these options.

  8. yes. This is the most welcome bill as per the voice of housewives in india. In india husband is earning. If woman goes foe for work she has to check for the arrangements of cooking, cleaning and watching over the child if it all works well then only she can work peacefully at office. it is not a easy thing to get a good maid for all this householdwork. hence women ha sto leave the job at the intense pressure of family situations. On the contrary if man goes for job women will take the responsiblity of home. there will be nice peaceful and tensionfree life going at home. but they say it is must for a housewife to do all the duties without any expectations. also according to them a good wife should ask nothing if he wants to give his mother a home, to his brother an education, to his sister a dowry, to his father a relaxed life. Any men can say whether most working women share the responsiblity of her family after married life. aif it is like that then they sure negotiate for marrying her.
    After all this what is left for housewife after feeding for her own child.she consider the childs future to be brightful and sacrifices everything?

  9. As per my view, for a good family
    8% of mens's earning is to go for child future eduction
    8% of his earning to go for family healthfund
    8% for future pension life
    the above need not be given to wife. since wife is the legal gaurdian for the family she has to given the right to access the fund as and when needed.
    40% of his salary to household expenses. can be shared according to the responsiblities.
    10% for wife personal expenses
    10% for husband personal expenses
    10% for house rent.
    6% for husband's family expense there is no written law for spending mens salary. but since family is the building block for future india for a prosperous family husband have to spent to it.
    Any lack of spending in the need is a pressure to the housewife.
    if you see the practical scenario most of the family is ending with the single child now since because we women has to concern about our future. mostly women desires to have one child. also she is getting pregnant for the second time only to have a male child.we have also seen the past generations. women having male child is now living rich.
    No women can think to do some welfare for her family and relatives.
    All emotions finally will have a financial value however it cant be measured. but at least a least amount to be sanctioned.


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