Going beyond #ShareTheLoad

Although more men are sharing the load today than ever before, our society is still far from being ideal.
The detergent brand from P & G – Ariel started a global campaign – #ShareTheLoad, with the aim to question gender expectations in the household by raising important issues and encourage men to also participate in household chores. Over the years, the campaign gained lot of traction and was successful in creating behaviour change on society’s view on traditional gender roles.
Reading an article in The Business Standard on insurance it made me ponder that there’s still more work to be done in this area. Traditionally in Indian society, the contributions of homemakers towards the development of their houses and the economy have been undermined and often not recognised at all. In India, the breadwinner of the family usually purchases a life insurance cover for himself and most of the homemakers remain uninsured.
Quoting from the Your Money article in Business Standard which was based on a recent online survey of 5,000 respondents conducted by Policybazaar.com in April 2022 around 15 per cent of the active policies are independent term plans meant for homemakers. Independent term plans targeting homemakers have become available only recently.
Households generally ignore the need to buy a term cover for the homemaker because they underestimate her contribution. Unpaid domestic work accounts for 13% of the global Gross Domestic Product. In India, a staggering 49% of the women contribute to the GDP but are not even counted. Homemakers contribution does not have “economic value”. She manages the household and take care of domestic finances. She is the primary child care provider. In many household she also looks after the elderly and even cooks for the family. If one were to describe an economic value to all the contributions a home maker makes, it would easily amount to a substantial amount per month.
In Jan 2021 The #SupremeCourtofIndia said that the conception that housewives do not work or do not add economic value to the household is “problematic” and needs to be overcome. Their activities contribute in a real way to the economic condition of the family and the economy of the nation and ought to be recognized in reflection of our changing attitudes and mindsets as well as towards achieving the constitutional vision of social equality and dignity of all individuals.
But still we have a long road to (really mean it to) – share the load.

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