Kerala housewives seek salary for managing households
A group of women in Kerala floated a body to organise the 'voiceless and wage-less' women. Its main demand is to introduce wages for women’s toil in kitchen and other domestic chores. The association, which is yet to be christened, has begun in a small way but has ambitious plans to grow, reports Ramesh Babu.
There is no dearth of associations or trade unions in God’s Own Country. Even tipplers have one. But a new association formed this women’s day, which is pressing for wages for homemakers, is different than the rest.
A group of women in northern Wayanad on Saturday floated a body to organise the “voiceless and wage-less” women. Its main demand is to introduce wages for women’s toil in kitchen and other domestic chores. The association, which is yet to be christened, has begun in a small way but has ambitious plans to grow.
“While managing a household, on an average a woman works at least five hours more than her male counterpart daily. Besides, her silent work helps men contribute more. His efficiency and production level is perked up accordingly. So, she needs to be compensated properly,”
V.P. Zuhra, a noted woman rights activist, said while addressing the maiden meet of the association. If not full wages, at least minimum wages would do and it would help remove gender barriers to an extent, the activists claimed.
Well-known rights bodies like Sree Vedi, Nisa, Niti Vedi and Jeevana have pledged their support to the organisation. A statewide convention will be held soon to formalise the new association.
“If you really count their contribution, it would come close to 50 per cent of the domestic production. Still, women are without wage and voice and nobody respects or cares for ‘wage-less’ contribution,” said activist Sulochana Ramakrishnan.