The latest Miss World winner, Manushi Chillar reignited a dormant debate about the economic worth of a housewife/homemaker, that was mooted half a decade back. Then Women & Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath had recommended paying a housewife professional wages for services she renders.
While the idea lost its fizz, Chillar's award winning reply to the query about which profession deserved to be paid the highest has again brought the spotlight back on the economic worth of a mother-cum-housewife.
A homemaker performs a multitude of duties and roles in the space of 24 hours, and while many will argue that she does it from a sense of familial duty and love, Chillar did hit the point home that it's largely a thankless job. Some of the services a homemaker renders may be consensual, in which case assigning an economic value will be pointless. For example, pregnancy & childbirth - while a surrogacy will entail a one-time cost of Rs 1,000,000, it will be difficult to monetise it for a mom-to-be.
However, just for comparison, if each task performed by a housewife were monetised, she would earn more than Rs 135,000 per month, which could go up depending on the number of children or family members she has to look after.