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Updated: October 1, 2012 01:34 IST

A salary plan that changes nothing

Maya John
Comment (43)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Instead of asking a man to pay his wife for her domestic work, the state must create jobs for women outside the home in order to truly empower them

Recently during a press conference called by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the Minister of State (Independent Charge), Krishna Tirath, proposed the formulation of a bill through which a certain percentage of a husband’s salary would be compulsorily transferred to his wife’s bank account to compensate her for all the domestic work she performs for the family. According to the Minister, this percentage of husbands’ salaries would not be taxed and would provide women the much needed source of income to run the household better, and more importantly, to spend on her own, personal consumption. In a later clarification, the Minister identified this payment as an “honorarium” and not a salary which is to be paid to wives for all the services they otherwise render for free.

This proposition has not gone down well, especially with women of higher income brackets who see such proposed action as unnecessary intervention in the realm of the private, i.e. the realm of familial relations. Many such women also believe that this government intervention amounts to reducing wives into “glorified maids” who need to be paid every time they walk into the kitchen, wash the baby, sweep the house, etc. Sadly, what is sidelined amid all the clamour and jokes about commercialisation of the mia-biwi relationship is the necessity of recognising the back-breaking work performed by women to sustain their families. Of course, what we also lose sight of is the sheer hollowness of such proposed legislation. For example, such legislation, if implemented, would not provide women a source of income which they earn independently of their husbands. Instead, women would continue to depend on their husband’s earnings and employment status, and thus, remain dependent on the family structure for their individual financial sustenance. Indeed, the problem with the proposed legislation is not that it is unnecessary and demeaning, but that it is informed by a poor understanding of economics surrounding household work and women’s labour in general. Clearly, the question then is whether the Indian state is even serious about uplifting the position of the woman within the home and in recognising her contribution to the national economy.

Historical issue

Assigning an economic value to women’s domestic labour is a long-standing debate. The international women’s movement has continuously debated the question and reached many important conclusions. It is now time for the larger society to engage with the movement’s propositions seriously. First, as a society we must learn to accept that there is sheer drudgery involved in day-to-day household work. The fact that such work is performed by a woman for her husband and other family members in the name of “care” and “nurturing” cannot be used to conceal that this is a thankless job which the majority of women feel burdened by. Just because some women do not have to enter the kitchen every day since their maid does the needful, we cannot write-off the helplessness with which the average woman walks towards her kitchen hearth, every day without fail. Here, there is no retirement age, no holiday, and definitely, no concept of overtime.

Second, we must realise that the process whereby women’s domestic labour has been rendered uneconomic activity, is a historical one. It was with the emergence of industrial society and the resulting separation between the home and the workplace that women’s housework lost value whereas men’s labour outside the home fetched wages. Third, as a society we must accept that while many are uncomfortable with providing an economic value to women’s domestic labour, chores such as washing, cleaning, cooking, child rearing, etc., are already assigned such a value by the market when need be. After all, many middle-class homes buy such services through the hiring of maids, paying for playschool education, crèche facilities, etc. Fourth, women’s domestic labour must be accounted for in the economy precisely because it is one of the contributing forces in the reproduction of labour power expended by this country’s working masses. In fact, because a woman’s domestic labour is devalued by the economy, a man’s wage can be kept low. For example, if all families were to pay every day for services like washing, cooking, cleaning, etc., because women of the household did not perform such duties, the breadwinners of each family would need to be paid higher wages so that they can afford to buy such services off the market.

The solution

This being the reality surrounding women’s unpaid, domestic labour, where does the actual solution lie? Does it lie in redistributing limited family incomes between husband and wife, or, in redistributing the national income so as to enhance individual family incomes, and hence, the woman’s share within the improved family consumption? Importantly, while pressing for valuation of women’s domestic labour, the progressive women’s movement has always argued that if the value of unpaid housework is paid but does not add to or increase the total household income, such remuneration amounts to nothing. Hence, one of the most important conclusions reached on this question of unpaid domestic labour is that the state should pay for it, especially by providing women gainful employment, special funding, subsidised home appliances, free health care, etc. In this way, women would earn through an independent source of income and be freed of an overt dependence on the family structure for their consumption. There would also be a gradual undermining of the sexual division of labour which has resulted in women being tied to their homes and unable to do little else.

Of course, what has not won much attention so far is the fact that the proposed legislation posits wages for housework rather than employment for women as a long-term solution. Indeed, questions have been raised whether the proposed legislation is implementable, but not whether it does the needful. For example, will the government be able to put in place the required administrative machinery? How exactly is the value of women’s household work to be calculated, or simply put, how many bais will equal a wife? Will the number of family members she rears determine whether she is entitled to greater compensation? And what of widowed women who do not have a husband’s salary to draw on?

Absolves the state

However, implementation is far from the real problem with such legislation. Mechanisms can always be put in place if administrative sincerity prevails. The real problem with the Ministry’s endeavour is the rationale by which it is driven. The proposed legislation should be criticised because it absolves the Indian state of the responsibility it owes to women who contribute daily in sustaining the national economy. Indeed, if the proposed legislation is formulated and implemented, it will only result in undervaluing and underpaying women’s domestic labour.

To elucidate, if we actually sit down to calculate the cost of all the different household chores a wife does for free, the figure would easily touch amounts that in no way can be compensated by a small percentage of the husband’s wages. Furthermore, with varied family incomes, such legislation would result in women being remunerated differently for the same kind and same amount of domestic work. In the case of the average working class or lower-middle class family where the total family income is anywhere between Rs.2,000 to Rs.10,000 per month, such legislation would assign women a pittance as an economic value for their back-breaking housework. This pittance will not empower the woman as the total family income remains the same. Without a growth in the actual family income, neither will such families be able to change their consumption pattern, nor will the nature of household work change so as to enable women to do other things instead of just labouring at home.

Clearly then, the issue at stake is how to minimise housework for women so that they too can step out of the home to earn, to enhance family incomes and to have greater say in family as well as public matters. Greater employment generation for women by the state, and widespread introduction of facilities like crèches at all workplaces, subsidised home appliances, unhindered promotion post child birth/maternity leave, etc. are the need of the hour. While direct employment helps to create women who are financially independent, the provision of the latter helps women to remain in the labour market, despite starting a family. If the average woman is to be freed of the yoke of household drudgery then it is evidently the Indian state which has to pay by creating concrete conditions for her greater economic participation outside the home.

(Maya John is an activist and researcher based in Delhi University.)

More In: Lead | Opinion

Some percentage of women are suffering due to paucity of funds of
their own. They continuously toil without casual, sick, earned leave
or paid holidays. The most difficult job for a woman may be carrying a
child in her womb and nourishing it through her blood supply. The
comments like "it is such a noble task there is no compensation to it"
are all okay. Men spend for tobacco products, tea, snacks, liquor,
extra marital affairs but large number of housewives remain without
having some funds for their own pleasure. Please start the legislation
process and work out the way to give some money to home maker.

from:  chandrasekaran
Posted on: Oct 3, 2012 at 07:11 IST

the minister's concern towards women empowerment is commendable.But a half of husbands salary is not going to help her,that is,setting up a separate account for women is not going to help them.first and foremost we must be able to give them financial literacy. Making them aware about their rights or better healthcare or speedy redress of their grievances will be of much better help.Also quantifying a women's work will most probably break the family ties.

from:  Devika P
Posted on: Oct 2, 2012 at 17:04 IST

In my opinion this is an area where a good amount of social research needs to be done and the results to be used for rationalizing the gender aspects of the Economy.

from:  Abhiman K
Posted on: Oct 2, 2012 at 13:18 IST

It is true that implementation of the Ministry’s proposals is the least
of worries. What we should really be asking is whether such a proposal
does the needful. A government which is constantly eating into the
average family’s income through withdrawal of subsidies on essential
goods and services, can only be expected to come up with proposals such
as making husbands pay for their wife’s domestic labour. As rightly put
in the article, we need solutions which do not absolve the state of its
duties. Dinesh

from:  Dinesh
Posted on: Oct 2, 2012 at 10:52 IST

A well-written piece that tackles the crux of the issue, i.e. how are
women to be truly empowered. As part of a women’s organization, one
understands how important it is for women to be employed, and hence,
to be financially independent from male family members. More than
honorariums, women need employment so that they can be in a position
to unite with a larger collective of women that is present in
workplaces/educational institutions etc. The author is right in
arguing that a woman’s financial independence (employment) is
essential for further democratization of familial relations. Glad to
see The Hindu picking up on this important issue and eliciting a
healthy debate. Fatima Kabir Chaudhary, Delhi

from:  Fatima Kabir Chaudhary
Posted on: Oct 2, 2012 at 10:43 IST

I think enough work opportunities should be there rather then giving
woman a salary for household work they perform. It will reduce their
status in the society.

from:  Rashmi
Posted on: Oct 2, 2012 at 10:02 IST

Even if this idea of giving a share of husband's income to wife is to
be implemented in our country, we will have to clearly identify the
husband's income which is not possible in the unorganized sector. If
the idea cannot be implemented to all families in a country it will
not create a balance between all the families.

from:  Harpreet Kaur
Posted on: Oct 2, 2012 at 05:44 IST

This whole mess has been caused by the way many men treat their wives who are homemakers. Many have no clue how hard household work can be, and treat women like second-class citizens. Now, when men are also being asked to contribute to the household work are they realising how monotonous and thankless it is. If the male-dominated society had realised that women are important to the economy of a country, and given them due respect we would not be in a stage where we had to talk about putting a price on bringing up a child. Women had to step out and work to be independent of men, so that they were not ill-treated for being dependent on them.

from:  Nitya
Posted on: Oct 2, 2012 at 04:36 IST

There can be no better way to contempt and vitriol woman domestic
chores then the said proposal. The meager percentage of breadwinners
wage to the woman could just be compared to a bait of recognition to
Cinderella woman. The propositions fail to account the emotional
value appended to the support that women provide to economy. The
subject demands different solutions for different sections of the
society. A middle class financially able earning woman opting out
for domestic drudgery (half being shared by his mate)may not require
such recognition. However, the scenario turns completely for a woman
of weaker section who is forced to carry the burden and is treated
nothing more than a slave. The solution lies in literacy and making
the woman self dependent through administrative aided projects, which
must mandate necessary vocational skills for women of weaker
sections. Administration can not run away from its responsibilities
towards woman by such false valuations.

from:  Prabhat
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 21:49 IST

Torturing, beating and verbal abuse are plenty in low and middle
income group households. This proposal should first be implemented
among the govt servants whose wives are unemployed and remain as
homemakers. These wives can open exclusive bank accounts for them and
the employees must furnish the bank details to the authorities and
govt must transfer minimum of 2% (to begin with)of the basic salary
through direct payment into the wives' account. Soon the idea will
catch up everywhere; for illiterate manual laborers tax incentives can
be offered by special tokens to their masters. If the standard wage is
Rs.300/ the owner can offer Rs.280/ in hard cash plus a token of
Rs.20. Those tokens can be taken by women (i.e. wives)and the post
office savings exclusively for redeeming the tokens by these women can
be opened. If you really want to help women who are in domestic
drudgery there are hundreds of schemes one can devise. Please bring in
the legislation immediately.

from:  chandrasekaran
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 21:36 IST

when the family harmony is intact., there is no need of any separate money for husband or for wife.. everything is theirs... by giving salary one is degraded as a "labour" from the post of "partner"... it will lead to the misunderstanding and other issues..

just the law should look in the case of abuses or at the time of divorce where if the wife is not working and doing the household works for the family's betterness., the law should ensure that the wife is enough compensated for the work she did in her married life.. cos she can have a good life with the money which she gets from the husband at the time of divorce..

from:  sayeed
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 18:53 IST

Another socialist gibberish!

from:  Ramesh Hariharan
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 18:38 IST

This decision will lead from bad to worse. This leads to women (wives)
as men servants which doesn't happen in marital life. Women are not
servants for which they should be paid. It is selfless love of their's
which government should not try to interfere. This may break many bondage's. If that's the case what about the daughters? Family is
based on love and care and not on earnings. All members contribute for
their family happiness and loyal to each other. There is no sense of
treating this proposal as women empowerment. Government should instead
try to work harder and make stricter proposal for Dowry, Women
Atrocities and Family Welfare programs. That is what necessary in
India. Not this type of proposals. At present women do work in various
sectors so bringing this type of law to family doesn't make any sense.
They are not limited to Households. Man do share household work. It's
Love and care for each other not earnings.

from:  Vikash Bharti
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 18:29 IST

Some people are taking it too offensive.The Minister is just trying to
help,by propose a bill for providing fixed
income for the homemakers so that they may buy somethings (like
sarees,necklaces etc);Her using them is immaterial
(She may use or save for the family use).Moreover tax benefit on that
amount (may be less or huge) will surely benefit
the family.

The Ministers may or may not be educated but they do know the value of
the family ties.

from:  sudheer
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 18:25 IST

I think,the proposal for giving salary to the housewife is a absurd thing to happen in India.because there is no base/clear cut thing from the government.what the author has said is right instead of giving the women salary for the services done by her in her house,why can't the government try creating many jobs for women.unless or until the chauvinistic minds of people sculptured there is no way out.

from:  vinoth
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 17:32 IST

I think, honourable minister considered upper middle class women, what
about poor women!!Do you think a drunken vendor transfer part of his
salary to his wife’s account to take care of house hold needs!So whom
does he want to develop? it will be great to concentrate on women
healthcare, which benefits all classes of women.

from:  seepana pavan kumar
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 16:14 IST

The author has talked too much about the future but the focus should be on the current situation of the average Indian household. In my views this proposed legislation is a very bold and respectable step. Opening a separate account for the wives would give them confidence and through this they could fulfill their little desires which if openly discussed could only embarrass them. Strength of women gives strength to family and the strength of family gives strength to nation. The amount of money given should be considered as a token of respect to the hard work of women. In my opinion the education, talent and hard work of women reflects in the well being of the family and it helps a lot in building a good future generation. The proposed legislation is appreciation of the family building work performed by women and comparing this work to that of maids is very unfortunate.

from:  Divya Prakash
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 16:12 IST

With too many couples resorting divorces, why should we create another spoke in the wheel of family?

from:  D. Chandramouli
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 15:59 IST

There's one more aspect - what about unmarried (young or otherwise) daughters who share the household work, what is their share? What's the share of working women who also do housework?

from:  mala
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 15:42 IST

Unfortunately millions of women in small towns, villages, and slums do
not get the chance to read Hindu or have the ability to access the
internet otherwise they would have suitably answered for this article.
It is unpaid prostitution for them in a domestic setup; they suffer
immensely due to this brutal married life. At least some legislation
like this will bring enormous debate in India and provide financial
support in one way or other the miseries endured by women in certain
segments in our society.

from:  chandrasekaran
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 15:32 IST

This is most stupid idea. Family is built of Love and Care and most
powerful Knot. Dividing them on the basis of money is nuisance. It makes
no sense at all. They should work to eradicate on Dowry, Women atrocities and Domestic violence and Family welfare programs. Not on
ruining one's marital life on basis of family earning. Each member of
family has his/her own responsibilities and duties which many do
selflessly for each other. Many families do have working women too. Then
proposing such a idea makes no sense at all.

from:  Vikash Bharti
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 14:49 IST

Quantifying wife’s salary on their dometic support in keeping and maintaining Indian family system to determine economic value and impacts on GDP. But insisting to pay to them by their husbands is not fair and againt to the traditional family system fro which country is proud at international level and she can provides more values to her kids and take care of entire family health by preparing nuetrious and fresh food wish of family members. If that is the case many husbands ask their wives to go for earning in outside instead of asking them and it would be double burden as many today’s womens facing problem of this. Instead paying at least insist that to cover them under standard insurance policy of both life and health in crisis situation without missing getting adequate and luxery medical help to treat their ailments and have financial security in their old age in absence of bread winner.

from:  RAGHAVENDRA R PAWAR
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 14:42 IST

If a man has to pay for the household 'services' rendered by the wife, then by the same token, he should be able to charge for the 'services' rendered TO the wife including but not limited to security, shelter, Transport, Clothing, jewellery etc.... and since the wife is getting paid, she can contribute EQUALLY to children's needs and education ..... obviously this ill conceived idea has its origins in someone who has NO IDEA of 'Family'.

from:  Sudhir
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 14:37 IST

The proposal is of course not suitable for all but it does have some relevance when we take into account the families with income less than Rs. 5000. We hear about women being at the receiving end of domestic violence in such families. I think this proposal is apt for them. And moreover, this proposal can be something that can be enforced on the family if one of the members (husband/wife) demands for it. This can help resolve family disturbances to some extent too.

from:  pratyush
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 14:10 IST

great idea.in our patriarch setup it would only add up to the woes.parents would definitely not give their daughter in marriage with the thin hope of seeing her economically having marginal nay nascent financial freedom.with FIL and MIL controlling / having charge of the son's income how will the proposed distribution be split between MIL and DIL.in our country when myriad forms of dowry,domestic violence,violation of sarada act etc. cannot be effectively brought out how will a grievance mechanism work here. we are only addding to our woes with such baseless enactments. subsequently we have to provide for exemptions for age, health problems etc.the process seems endless.

from:  revathi
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 14:06 IST

In society, men and women have equal roles to play to ensure a safe society,safe family,safe workplace.Even though the role of mother is of utmost importance when it comes to rearing a child, men should also share equal responsibility with them whether it's changing diapers at night or helping them in kitchen.

from:  Kanika
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 14:02 IST

One cannot achieve equality between men and women so easily. There are too
many areas where women face discrimination, starting at home, where
the"kuldeepak" son can lounge around while the daughter has to help her mother with the household chores. Let us not even begin to talk about female foeticide, dowry etc.
Financial independence is a big factor and if we can promote this, then we'd
certainly come a long way. The solution however does not lie in turning women
into paid maids. It would be far easier if the government were to exempt women
from paying income tax, for instance. That would motivate couples where both
man and wife are educated and capable of working from turning the wife into a
housewife and require the husband to help out at home too.
One could also offer tax breaks to companies hiring women or provide
reservations for women but as we have seen in the past, there are too many vested interests for that to be feasible right now.

from:  Vivek
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 13:54 IST

Already our society started to respond in tune with practical side of life by sidelining emotional etiquette s. Our govt lost emotional content in every aspect of their decisions.So now they are trying to implement this in personal life also. This will clearly leads to a social malady.
A wife's daily activity is like a social worker's act where he/she working for the betterment of society without expecting anything but it will increase her dignity among family members.
Govt should specify whether she can deliver promotional work on the off seasons and over time rate on festive seasons by that she can earn more.

from:  Syam
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 13:47 IST

I thank Ms Krishna Tirath for providing us some humour and comic relief
in an otherwise extremely depressing political and economic scenario
which is prevalent all across. Thanks once again.

from:  Jeeves
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 13:41 IST

First, if this legislation comes into power I would have divorce my
wife to protect her honor. By accepting this legislation and agreeing
to pay for my wife I would only demean her role and importance in the
family to that of a prostitute or a servant (My wife is neither!).
This rule is so absurd that it had not cropped up in the most liberal
of the countries like France, Sweden, etc. I wonder if our ministers
are under the influence of LSD.
Second regarding household chores, I don't know where from it comes as
a issue. If the girl is not interested in doing household, she can
very well say it during marriage and if the guy agrees could marry. In
many families, men earn but they do a lot apart from the 9-5(?) work,
from making investments, finding additional sources of income, trying
to improve the status and influence of their families, etc. This makes
them away from home, many even miss seeing their children grow. The
women fills in the gap! None can live without the other!!!

from:  Bharat
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 13:19 IST

"If the average woman is to be freed of the yoke of household drudgery then it is evidently the Indian state which has to pay by creating concrete conditions for her greater economic participation outside the home." Another activist in the mould of medha, aruna roy, arundhati etc in the making. What can the state do? the onus is on the men in the family. Does she want the state to create jobs for women like rural jobs scheme? What was India's karma to suffer such 'activists' ?

from:  Ramanan
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 12:03 IST

Interesting article.Such initiatives by the Ministry,however well-meaning,may have unintended consequences.And,may end up dis-empowering women even more. Apart from constant disputes and arguments within the family,it may also result in some men saying that since they were "paying" their wives,hence they would not foot the bill for her rent,food,clothing,medicines etc etc.and she should reimburse him for the same. A family should be based on mutual care and consideration. Hence, women should seek economic empowerment by working outside which will result in sharing of housework and other tasks.

from:  Sushma
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 11:47 IST

I help my wife quite a lot in household chores. I will have to pay myself also along with my wife. And every time when I ask my child to bring me a glass of water, her account will have to be credited. Nice job, legislators.

from:  Vijay A
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 11:28 IST

Though the proposed legislation seeks to evaluate the net worth of
household chores of a homemaker,the rationale could have been extended
to include another important perspective:Domestic Violence.Extremely
conservative estimates state at least 50% of the Indian women are
physically,mentally and financially victimized, indicating the failure
of the Domestic Violence Act,2005 to rein in such atrocities.Most of
the homemakers cannot be expected to step out of their homes and seek
decently remunerating employment,especially the illiterate and
unskilled women(who still are a majority and need consent of their
husbands).An offending husband would begin with withholding the money
he earns from the wife.Agreeably,the solution lies in a multi-pronged
approach,but the proposed idea of transferring a part of husband's
salary to the homemaker's account can be seen as a step in improving
the financial sustainability of the homemakers.

from:  Mayank
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 11:27 IST

Some Concern about this amendment , think, If my wife is more expensive. and cannot able to control the basic budget then how can i control this with the above amendments.

from:  Ganesh Krishnamurthy
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 10:55 IST

What about the services that men and children do for the family? How will they be paid? I think the way ahead is women should look for outside jobs, this will automatically force equal sharing of household work by men and women. In this way family will remain a family.

from:  Praveen
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 10:07 IST

Notwithstanding the fact that the proposed legislation is absurd, there is definitely a need to look at and evalaute the social fabric if India with respect to the " role " ) of women in the house and society. While it is agreed that it a woman who bears the child and not a man so in terms of certian duties related to child rearing the role of women is certianly irreversible. However, this does not apply to all aspects of child rearing and other domestic work. (Nothing prevents the father of the child to change the dipers of child in the mid night ; it does not require any motherly instinct. The same applies to other domestic work . Both men and women can divide the domestic chores becaue after all it is the " their" house and not impose the work on women alone in the name of " role or gender". Instead of legitimising the fact that domestic work is women's role the governemnt would do well to to create systems through wchin the men are held responsible to share the domestic work.

from:  Priti Shah
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 10:06 IST

So, the woman becomes the man's employee, and can be subject to
punitive action for non-performance of duties. Is that the grand idea?
I feel that it cements the idea of subservience rather than equality.
Members in a family do not do things for each other because of
financial reasons; at least they should not be doing it for that
reason.

Regarding taxation (which one commenter brought up) : I believe that
statutory deductions should be based on the number of dependants. Each
dependant should be identified using their PAN in the tax return so
that multiple people cannot claim the same person as a dependant. The
number of children that can be claimed as dependants should be limited
to two. Maybe, girl child can get a higher tax break for their
parents.

from:  Thomas George
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 09:34 IST

Although a couple can have two salaries as indicated in this article in urban India, they should only have one pot into which the money comes and they should both know what is happening in that pot.There is no harm in showing the wife-(housewife) your SALARY slip. At times a wife who happens to be director in several other family business hides her pay slip and her personnel profit in the balance sheet which creates a disharmony in the transparent family. No wife or no husband must be allowed to use his or her role as a hidden Director with misuse of hidden money to gain control or generate more power in family relationship. For a safe job,safe business,safe work,safe family a transparent sharing of all money matters and the salary plan by responsible spouse is essential.

from:  Rakesh Manchanda
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 09:30 IST

There are still many questions, like what about those women who work outside and still perform the household work, we do have such category in our society. Will really Women paid by there husband changing their status in society? May some find it is more disrespecting. And truly said by author at the end financial status of the family will remain same and implementing such law would be really difficult.

from:  Arpita
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 08:36 IST

In marital life, its not economics or law than brings peace. It's love and affection that brings in peace and happiness.

from:  Jeby
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 08:09 IST

This proposal is good for the family to reduce taxes. The husband can claim salary paid to the wife as expenditure and wife account it be come in the free earning slab. Looking at this from a bigger perspective, this is a stupid idea. It fixes a economic value for the work done at home. This will reduce the willingness of the person to do household work. People don't do household work for money. They do it for the sustenance of the home. If enough work opportunities are created (suitable for women), then they naturally will start working outside their home, and their husbands will start sharing the house hold work.

from:  Nachiappan
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 06:35 IST

The protagonists of the proposed legislation seeking to pay the home engineer an honorarium for the travails in the kitchen seem to ignore the biological nature of the husband wife relationship. It is the woman who bears the child and not the man. The role cannot be reversed by any kind of scientific reengineering as of now. The wife willingly accepts the role of a home maker without expecting any pecuniary reward for doing her duty. She also earns encomiums from her husband for the onerous duties performed and she in turn ensures her husband's equanimity is maintained by cutting the coat according to the cloth exercising necessary thrift in domestic expenses. It is an insult to womanhood to put a price tag to the efforts aimed at domestic harmony. The minister should not demean the husband wife relationship by making it a commercial proposition. Where the wife also contributes to the domestic kitty the husband should lend his shoulder in sharing the domestic chores to ensure harmony.

from:  R.Vijaykumar
Posted on: Oct 1, 2012 at 06:24 IST
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Bad enactment, no enforcement

In response to public clamour against corruption, Parliament has been passing anti-graft legislation. But lawmakers, public servants and enforcement agencies, who have among their lot a vast majority of the corrupt, have been seeking loopholes in the law »