The lockdown has taught the world about the immeasurable value of a homemaker. During this time, many women and men had to step into this laborious job of supporting their families and sailing through this testing time. And guess what, without any salary or day off!
Catering to the elders and children, cooking, cleaning, teaching and above all making sure that the bread winner’s job functions smoothly. Don’t you think the home manager’s job is the actual support system of our economy?
Some time back, Tamil actor and politician Kamal Hassan brought forward this crucial point before the State Assembly as a part of his political agenda. The party mentioned this as a step towards uplifting women’s dignity. As per other reports, similar proposals have been made in the past as well to recognize the homemaker’s job as equally respectable and being of economic value. The Supreme Court had recently advised in agreement of placing women’s work at home at the same level as men’s.
‘Without a doubt, the system must realize the indirect contribution of the homemakers in the family income. It helps the bread earner to work at his highest capabilities without being perturbed by the house jobs,’ says Suparna Charan, a homemaker and mother of two. Needless to say that the entire burden of the household falls on the homemaker, especially for the families who cannot afford outside help.
Research says , countries like Venezuela pay about 80% of minimum wage to the homemaker.
Don’t you think a similar step in India can boost the self-esteem and morale of women who work as homemakers? In a fast- paced city like Gurugram, homemakers cook as per everyone’s preference and at everyone’s preferred time, while a formally employed cook would cost around Rs 8000 -10,000. They take care of the older adults and anyone who is sick and needs attention. A personal caretaker would definitely charge a lot for that. The homemakers teach their children regularly and without looking at the clock for examinations or competitions. A home tutor would charge no less than Rs. 10,000-12,000 a month and the task list is endless.
Above all, the intent and purity with which they deliver their task cannot be doubted. In fact, it would rather be a challenge to attach an economic value to such a demanding job. The home managers always place their family needs on a higher pedestal as compared to their own needs. ‘I would love to go back to my bank job, but my family is my priority right now and my husband has to travel a lot for work,’ says Mansi Sharma, a former investment banker and mother of 3 years old twins.
The homemakers’ jobs will continue to be the backbone of the economy. However, this compassionate effort invested can definitely stir up the stereotypical and conventional belief that assumes that men’s work is more important than women’s and hence should be given more importance. In fact, this would also make the men comfortable in stepping into homemaker’s shoes and women taking the bread earner’s job of the family.
The Government should provide measures to pay a particular amount along with a fixed amount from the breadwinner’s salary to be given to the homemakers. It should be given directly in the homemaker’s account to ensure the money doesn’t get misused or fall in the wrong hands. This would also encourage women who work as homemakers in rural India to have a bank account and feel empowered.
It is rightly said that, ‘The tree nurtured well always gives back many folds.’ Paying salary to the homemakers can definitely be a promising step towards achieving Equality in a real sense and mark a major contribution towards the making of Progressive India.
Image source : From the movie ‘The Lunch Box’