I am late on this topic, but this is a flabbergasting topic to debate on. Women[mother, sister,aunt,wife..} in our lives work everyday, and by “work” i mean not just work but also household work. Household work includes washing dishes, washing clothes, cooking, etc. The so called “household” work requires skill, patience, sacrifice. Our women sacrifice their sleep, to provide us with a comfortable lifestyle. We should be grateful for the efforts put in by them everyday. These activities done by our women, everyday, are called as “non economic” activities. That means they dont expect a paycheck at the end of the month, they take up those activities, I would rather say responsibilities out of love and affection. Monetising or making them economic activities will do no help for our women. This idea of monetising domestic work was brought in by Kamal Hassan, The Makkal Needhi Maiam[MNM] party president. This idea was mentioned in the manifesto of MNM for the State assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.
A United Nations report states that women perform around 75 per cent of the world’s unpaid care and domestic work, valued at 13 per cent of global gross domestic product. If included in national accounts, the unpaid care economy would represent between 15 to over 50 per cent of gross domestic product. The report further estimates that women in India spent about 352 minutes a day on unpaid work against 51.8 minutes by men.According to an Oxfam report, Indian women and girls put in more than three billion hours of unpaid care work daily. If it were assigned a monetary value it would add trillions of rupees to India’s gross domestic product.
Adding trillions of ruppes to India’s gross domestic product[GDP] might sound amazing and exciting, but this will only strengthen the long believed convention of putting woman involved in domestic work.
Will women actually get benefitted?
Definitely not, they will not get benefitted, as they dont expect benefit and do this out of love and affection. Love and affection always tops Money. This scheme if put in place will only force many employed women quit their job and get involved in household work to earn better. This will create a social norm of putting women in household work, which indeed might benefit the economy but will definietly have a harsh effect on the gender ratio at work places.
“Any woman seeking a career would be now bullied to take government’s money and stay home. This is no way towards women empowerment,” Tulsi Pillai, a 40-year-old school teacher from Chennai, Tamil Nadu tells Media India Group.
Pillai further calls it a ‘half-baked idea’ that is either not likely to see the light of the day when the time come or is going to do more harm than good to the condition of women in the state currently.
Should men involved in domestic work be given monetory benefits too?
A nationwide survey of time use has laid bare the unequal gender distribution of unpaid household labor in Indian households. While women spend 84% of their day on unpaid activities, men spend 80% of theirs on paid work. In addition, only 26% of men reported doing any kind of housework. This is a very small percentage, and considering the fact that for those men; domestic work is an addition, monetory benefits will not be necessary for them.