No one can deny the amount of work a homemaker puts into making a house a home. Under conventional economics, if someone is not being paid for the work they do, the GDP goes down because that person is not doing “work”.
How Much Would A Homemaker Make?
Assuming that it is a literate homemaker who takes care of all their family’s needs, a lot of hard work is put into it. From cooking to cleaning, that would make them around INR 7000-8000 per month alone.
If they were working, the children would have to be put into a daycare, which would again add another INR 15,000 to the budget.
Besides managing the maids, they have to take care of the elderly and the young during times of illness, which practically makes them nurses, which adds another INR 10000-12000 worth of work under their hood.
The homemaker would also take care of the children’s tuition and studies at home, effectively making them a tutor, which adds on almost another INR 8000-10000 in metro cities.
All in all, the total monthly work by a homemaker is almost valued at INR 40000 by industry standards in metro cities.
Venezuela, The Pioneer
In 2007, Venezuela became the first country to pay stay-at-home housewives, recognizing their work at the home as a valuable economic activity.
President Hugo Chavez announced this under Article 88 of the constitution, where in the first phase 100,000 women were paid 80% of the minimum wage, equating to almost USD 180 per month during that time. In the next phase, another 100,000 were covered after four months.
This was much welcomed by feminists but they had their reservations as well. Marianne Ferber, Professor Emerita at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Professor Lourdes Beneria of Cornell University, USA were leading feminists who raised voices of concern back in the day, said that although it was benefiting women immediately, it would not contribute to gender equality in the longer run.
Although the money might have boosted women in the poor strata of the society, it often comes at a price of them not acquiring industrial market skills to go out and work.
There is also the aspect of single mothers to whom this money can mean the whole difference as they no longer had to overexert themselves to take care of their offspring and work a 9 to 5.
What About India?
In my opinion, considering the fact that most of our workforces come from the poor strata of society, this would mean a huge boost towards women, taxes, and eventually the economy. Women will be freer to control their expenditure and aid in the financial situations of the home.
The sad reality is that most husbands who work hard during the day, end up blowing the money in unnecessary vices, and eventually waste their money, and even the ability to work eventually.
This extra money can come in handy as women take control of the family’s nurturing and get paid while doing so. This leaves them debt-free and responsible.
I have been trying to stay gender-neutral about the situation throughout the article until I came to the economically backward Indian people. The situation on the ground is as such, wherein this realistic approach would actually mean empowerment for women.
Again, it cannot be a permanent solution to the problem as it would lead to other problems at hand, namely for women who want to work in the industry, the lack of motivation behind acquiring industrial skills.
One must differentiate between a handout and a job that has been neglected throughout the history of the world. Even if not permanently, a temporary test trial would not hurt anyone in our country.
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This post is tagged under: women payroll, homemaker money-making, housewives should make money, economic growth by the housewife, Venezuela, Feminism, Equality for women, Indian Government policies, women empowerment, industry-ready women, gender equality, should people be paid for household work, GDP, Venezuela paying homemakers, homemakers deserve to be paid, gender disparity, respecting all professions, homemaking a profession