Homemakers happy, apex court recognises their contribution

July 24th, 2010 - 6:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) They feel they were always taken for granted and did not get the credit for their work in spite of doing the “toughest job”. But homemakers in the capital are now happy as the Supreme Court has objected to equating them with beggars, prostitutes and prisoners as economically non-productive workers.
The Supreme Court observed that parliament should consider amendments in various laws to ensure that a homemaker’s contribution is scientifically assessed both in accident claims and division of matrimonial property.

The court expressed shock that in the Census, about 36 crore homemakers are placed with beggars, prostitutes and prisoners in the ‘economically non-productive category’.

Many women in the capital complain that though the homemaker does enormous work, she is taken for granted as she doesn’t go out for work.

“Equating women, who are homemakers with beggars, prostitutes and prisoners as economically non-productive workers, showcases the gender bias of the society we live in,” Anuradha Ramanan, a freelance writer and homemaker, told IANS.

“The dignity of labour a women has carried for her family for years is being questioned,” she added.

Smita, a young housewife, who has just quit her job in a multinational company, said: “As soon as you say ‘housewife’, people take it as you are not working. That is wrong.”

“In the beginning, I felt odd as people made me realise I was not working, but now I think I am contributing equally to society as domestic work is tougher than an office job,” she said.

Anju Pandey, a 35-year-old homemaker, said: “Women have not got the credit of their work economically. It is always taken for granted. I am happy that the court gave this ruling.”

“The time has come for parliament to have a rethink on properly assessing the value of homemakers’ work as we are always at the receiving end,” she added.

“To be a homemaker is the toughest job as it requires multi-tasking. It’s more stressful and demanding. Taking care of a home is not a joke,” said 43-year-old Soni Goel.

Savitha Medhi, 42, expressed shock and anger over placing of homemakers in the same category as beggars, prostitutes and prisoners.

A forest official, who quit her job for bringing up her child, said: “I’m a homemaker by choice because I need to take care of my daughter and her future. But it’s really shocking to see the status given to the homemakers by our government.”

“The government should decide by looking at the status of an individual. It can’t categorise (like this). An individual’s status should be taken care of,” she added.

Twenty nine-year-old Maidangsri, who has a three-year-old daughter, said: “I’m the backbone of my family, not just a homemaker. I take care of my husband and daughter, and so I don’t have time to go out and work.”

“But whenever someone says ‘Oh you are just a housewife’, I feel bad,” she added.

Gurmeet Kaur, a qualified teacher, said she chose to be a housewife. “I am needed at home so I chose to be a homemaker. It doesn’t mean I can’t work,” she said.

“It is more productive than working at any office, because here I’m actually taking care of three people who go to work, two children who are the future of the country and two elders who have given their best years towards serving the nation,” she added.

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