Deepika Padukone Acknowledges Homemakers; Let’s Look At Unpaid Care Work Differently

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Deepika Padukone Acknowledges Homemakers: The much awaited Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh film 83 released in the theatres to great reviews. Amid the success of the film Padukone took to Instagram and wrote a heart felt note acknowledging the efforts of the homemakers.

The actor took to Instagram to and wrote a note addressed to her mother, I did this film ONLY & ONLY for you! I’ve said this before and il say it again… We walk away with all the credit and glory but the sacrifice of a spouse and his or her family always goes unnoticed! My little contribution to #83thefilm is to recognise and acknowledge every homemaker who puts the dreams of her spouse, her children and her family ahead of her own…

While Padukone has been careful to not assign a gender to the homemaker, more often than not it is the women who give up their dreams and aspirations and selflessly put the other people’s dreams ahead of her own. It is refreshing that Padukone is trying to break the gender stereotype and that the homemaker can be of any gender.

The hard work by a homemaker often goes unnoticed in our country. According to an article by BBC, India’s 160 million homemakers, like many of their counterparts in the rest of the world, clean, tidy, cook, wash up and manage family finances. They fetch food, water and firewood, and give care to children and their in-laws. They spend 297 minutes a day doing domestic work, compared to 31 minutes by men. A quarter of men are engaged in unpaid chores, compared to four-fifths of women.”

Even though things are changing a homemaker is still considered as the person who is handling household chores and fulfilling caregiving role. More and more women homemakers are juggling responsibilities. They are managing the role of a mother, caregiver and having a successful career. Thus they are contributing to the finances of running the household. People are realising that the world we live in is fast changing and households cannot function with erstwhile demarcation of roles based on gender. In a time like this it is encouraging that an actor of Padukone’s stature would use the platform of a film to speak about homemakers.

A huge percentage of Indian women of the productive age are engaged in full-time housework. Most of a homemakers’ working hours are spent on activities they do not get paid for. It is time we acknowledge household and care-giving work as economic activities to make them feel empowered. It is should not be looked upon as putting a price tag on mothering and caregiving or for that matter being physically intimate with our loved ones. A lot of things in life are beyond price. It should be looked upon as an effort to recognise unpaid work.

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If we recognise unpaid work it will change peoples attitude which looks at household chores as menial and left on one gender by default and not choice. It will be a step towards social equality, and give the rights of equality that the constitution allows women. Recognising the efforts of a homemaker is the need of the hour.

The views expressed are the author’ own.