Housewives Add To The Economic Value Of Household, Do Away With Age Old Conventions: SC

Female Labour Participation Rate Falls:

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court said that the perception that housewives do not work or do not add to the economic value of the household needs to be done away with as it is a problematic conception.

The apex court was dealing with a grant of redressal in a motor accident case when it talked about the role of women in the economic set up of the house. In the compensation of the motor accident case, the Delhi High Court had cut off the earning of the deceased wife as she was a housewife.

A three-judge bench led by Justice NV Ramana noted that fixing an economic value to the labour and hard work by housewives is difficult yet significant. Justice Ramana cited the 2011 Census, according to which nearly 159.85 million women in India are engaged in “household work” against 5.79 million men, reported HT.

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What You Should Know

  • A recently released report brought up that on average, women spend 299 minutes a day on unpaid domestic aid for household members.
  • Noting the same, Supreme Court on Tuesday said that we need to do away with the problematic conception that housewives do not add to the economic value of the house.
  • The SC cited a 2011 census, which reported that nearly 159.85 million women in India are engaged in “household work” against 5.79 million men.

Along with Justice Ramana, the bench also comprised of Justice Surya Kant and Justice S Abdul Nazeer. The three unanimously assented to raise the compensation provided to the motor accident victims to Rs 33.2 lakh from the previous grant of Rs22 lakh.

On this line, a recent report by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation depicted that women on average spend 299 minutes a day on unpaid domestic work for members in the household setup against 97 minutes spent by men on average. Women mostly deal with the preparation of food, cleaning and managing the house, buying household items, repairing and maintaining the kitchen stuff along with taking care of children and aged members of the house. Moreover, despite all this work, the conception that housemakers do not work still dwells in society.

The court observed that a housemaker’s putative income must be set on by Courts considering the number of women involved in these activities, and the value of their service, labour, and sacrifices. The court further added that a housemaker’s activities add to the economic condition of the household and nation. Thus, their contribution should be recognised which would help the nation achieve its constitutional vision of social equality and dignity for all individuals.

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