Should Housewives in India be Paid a Salary? - The Feminine Presence: Part I

When India’s Minister for Women and Child Development, Krishna Tirath recently proposed a bill that would require husbands to legally compensate their wives, he probably had the best intentions in mind. When the topic was brought forward during Sadhguru’s Darshan at the Isha Yoga Center, he was quick to provide his insights on the issue.
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When India’s Minister for Women and Child Development, Krishna Tirath recently proposed a bill that would require husbands to legally compensate their wives for house work, she probably had the best intentions in mind. She is quoted in the Indian media as having said, “The socially accepted behaviour (of women doing household chores) becomes a tragedy when a woman gets divorced or widowed and she is left with nothing for survival.” While it does make sense that women with no income of their own must be well provided for by their husbands, does this need to be mandated by law?

Ever since the news of this bill was reported, it has faced criticism from several quarters of the Indian society, women included. An article in a popular online newspaper questioned how one could put a price tag on household work. “Does she get paid extra for cooking up an elaborate birthday dinner, as opposed to dishing up the usual dal chawal?” Activist Maya John provides a different solution in her opinion piece in The Hindu, “Instead of asking a man to pay his wife for her domestic work, the state must create jobs for women outside the home in order to truly empower them.”

When the topic was brought forward during Sadhguru’s Darshan at the Isha Yoga Center, he was quick to provide his insights on the issue. Below is an excerpt from his talk.

Sadhguru: The most basic structure of the social unit is the family. Fortunately so far, the government has had the wisdom to stay away, keep their hands off the family, because they know they will mess it up. But it looks like now they want to enter your family in the guise of giving justice to women. You need to understand one thing, if a woman is paid for the chores that she does at home, she can also be fired. No divorce is needed. She is not cooking properly, fire her tomorrow morning. The next day you can hire somebody else. The sanctity of what it means to be a family will disappear. Not just the husband, even the children will ask, “Well, you are being paid, why are you not doing this?” The sanctity of being a wife, the sanctity of being a mother, the sanctity of being a feminine presence in the family, all this will be ruined and she will be reduced to a paid-for maid. The worst possible vocabulary could be used in this scenario. It is nobody’s business to enter a family and say how it should be run. The laws are on the street and not inside one’s home. That is a place where nobody should meddle except the people who live there.

 

 

In today’s society, it has been observed that the title of "housewife" is inadvertently less valued than that of a "working woman". Will the mere payment of a salary elevate the role of the housewife and make it more worthy of social recognition? Stay tuned for answers to these questions and more through Sadhguru’s words, in the concluding part of the series: The Feminine Presence, next week.

Editor’s Note: Do you think it makes sense that homemakers receive a monthly salary? Let us know your opinions in the comments below.

Reference: A salary plan that changes nothing
Should Husbands Pay Housewives in India?

 
 
 
 
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2 years 6 months ago

It cannot be disputed that a housewife when paid not only becomes self sufficient in times of crisis but also develops a sense of self-worth. However, the salary doesn't solve other, more intricate problems with marriages today such as abuse and exploitation. If self-awakening is the answer, the compelling question is how to prompt the partner to understand its importance to break-away from the feudal and patriarchal chains that bind him/her so tightly! Maybe the govt. can take initiatives on that front. For instance, I was not fortunate enough to have meditation and perspective classes in school or college. Most colleges have now made it compulsory! The govt. can take it up on a larger scale and make it compulsory (like aadhar!!!)...

7 years ago

I don't think imposing a law is going to make a husband more loving, that has to come from inside, which is possible only through spiritual awakening.

2 years 6 months ago

No. Housewives should not paid for their duty.. In my opinion how much salary one can pay while the work she is doing with love for family. Don't try to calculate love of a housewives towards their loved ones, as a mother as a wife. If she want anything returns in terms of money then it will become business then in future girls will not be ready for it, instead of housewives they will try to find out other suitable option because it is very difficult to work as a servant. Don't try to pollute the housewife's job which is a symbol of love & not the servant. No need to pay. In fact every human being should work without expecting reward it is duty - social norm. Instead implement some good cultural, social, habits in every human..

7 years ago

First I thought: Yes, we should be compensated because it is hard work and some man are very sloppy making it harder for the housewife to keep the place clean, so when I broke up with my last relationship I got nothing but a broken body and several health problems, but then when I read what Sadhguru have to say I can help it but to agree with him. He is so absolutely right when he says we are not conscious and we do not know "anything". It is incredible the amount of wisdom is there to be attain. I am just starting to see how I am not this body but I sure struggled with it a lot. I can't wait for the next lesson......

7 years ago

even when anti-dowry laws are in place, torture of some women continue. Therefore, a new law on this front would not help.
Would you like to pay your mother or grandmother for cooking food for you?

2 years 6 months ago

Family is all about where you do things out of love. Why should we pay the wife in names of women empowerment? Why can't we become progressive in our thoughts? Respect women. Respect her thoughts and feelings. Let her live her life as she wants..Money is not the solution for everything

7 years ago

its hurt ...well said Sadguru ....The sanctity of being a wife, the sanctity of being a mother, the sanctity of being a feminine presence in the family, all this will be ruined ...Pranaam

7 years ago

the mitochondria in all human cells belong to the mother , how much will you pay her for the mitochondria without which ur cells are dead .
dont pay her money and degrade her
all she needs is a loving husband and loving kids that is payment enough
as for material security if she is widowed , then let the govt create widow rehab programmes

radha
tiruvannamalai

2 years 6 months ago

They should not be paid but everyone should respect her and give her due respect and love.

7 years ago

i totally agree with sathguru. motherhood is adored worldwide,this law destroys the very morals of the society.Love can never be compensated.But all the same ,men who don't think of their wife's individual needs will definetly be threatened with this law.Most of our laws never come into practise,so this law can hang around and we women can use this law as a threat to our husbands!!!!

6 years 10 months ago

[...] of a housewife, then at some point, she might start to get treated like a paid employee itself.  Here is something that Sadhguru Jaggi says: The most basic structure of the social unit is the family. Fortunately so [...]

2 years 6 months ago

Well said

7 years ago

dont threaten your husband with these laws...if you can threaten your husband with laws then he can threaten you with flaws. so just love him but dont threaten him...

6 years 5 months ago

LOVE AND AFFECTION Cant be measured & paid,Do they pay for mom's love??how do they think like this!!!!!

7 years ago

House Wife (or) Home Maker ,whatever it may be it's not a work,, a paid maid can't do it,,,it can't be compare by other thing's... like how our Booma devi can't be compared,,,

5 years 5 months ago

People say that just love from husband and children is enough but how many husbands actually and truely love their wives..Love doesn't mean physical. Love is understanding. Love is concern. How many husbands bother if their wife has had her breakfast or not ? How many actually sit by the side of their wives when she is not well? How many actually offer to help their wives during their weekends? Husbands fail to give the minimum respect to their wives when she is unable to make love with him due to some health problem. How many husbands actually understand her situation.It is not law that has to change people, the change has to come from within each and every male. it has to be inculcated in their blood by their mothers. every mother has to bring up a male child with an attitude to respect women.But mothers become defensive when they even think of their son's wedding. They feel that the daughter-in-law would take her place. with this attitude, they don't teach their son what has to be taught before marraige.When the girl can leave her parents, her friends, her siblings, her home , her surname and everything and adopts everything of her husband's , why can't a guy understand her likes, dislikes and emotions. Guys who cannot make their wives happy are unfit to get married. They infact make their wife's life a nightmare. She would have been far more happier at her mother's place without getting married. Who has given a guy the right to ruin a girl's life by getting her entangled in the false hopes of a happy married life?

7 years ago

Pranam Sadhguru! Very well said. I was a working woman. But now I am a proud house wife, left job for my kids. It is so peaceful for me to serve the innocent kids than to serve in the office for useless egoist people. Ladies let our intelligence and talents be used for bringing up our kids with family values and let us build a good family which is very much the part of this society. So happy that this message is coming from Sadhguru.

4 years 10 months ago

I am sorry but Krishna Tirath's head is also getting bigger with her bindi on her forehead. Now the weight of her head is spilling onto the shoulders' of the society.

7 years ago

In the garb of protecting the sanctity of the family, do we not turn a blind eye to the injustice some homemakers suffer.
Many women are raped by their own husbands. They are exploited, beaten and abandoned by their inlaws and husbands. Where is justice for such women?
It seems that being born in a woman's body is to tolerate injustice and suffer quietly. Sadhguru why do you never tell men to respect women and treat them as fellow humans. Are you blInd to female suffering too?
If all men treated their wives with respect and fairness such laws would not be needed.

4 years 10 months ago

The strength of Bharat Desam is family system and particularly Women in the house in the form of Mother, sister and wife. There is conspiracy going on for many decades to destruct the family system. To meet both ends Indian women are started working it does not mean " Housewife" is inferior title.

7 years ago

Agreed. But shouldnt the husband also live his wife? Many husbands just treat their wives as maidservants and sex slaves. What would your advice be for them?

4 years 10 months ago

Money!!money and money...nothing else seems important in life????
Society has already gathered whole lot of issues to be solved which involves "life values".
I would rather challenge the government to solve all pending issues and then create a new one...
even a common man can suggest various options in bringing about domestic safety for women if at all the government wishes to do so (even while the husband is alive)...but definitely money is not a solution.

7 years ago

Finally law will not take care of everything. Love will take care of everything in the house, isn't it?

3 years 8 months ago

It is not at all salary, it is the 'BETTER HALF' :)

7 years ago

If I remember correctly based on Sadhguru's words, men and women are equally capable of spiritual awakening. The issue is keeping up with the spiritual practices as habits and way of life. Once that happens, the benefits happen naturally in time.