Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Economic Value of Homemaking

The Economic Value of Homemaking

The History of Homemaking
A homemaker is a person whose main activity is to care for a family and home. This is traditionally an unpaid occupation.
In an effort to understand the value of a private homemaker’s unpaid labor, experts have attempted to quantify the dollar value of the job. No one has come up with a perfectly accurate way to do so.
Four different methods of assessing the economic value of homemaking are listed below. Each method has serious drawbacks and disadvantages.

NOTE: Women Work! does not promote one method over another; we have simply gathered the following data for your information.

Opportunity Cost
In economics, the opportunity cost is the value of what someone gives up when they choose to do something else. The opportunity cost, or trade-off, of homemaking is the income the homemaker would have earned if she had been in the paid workforce. If a woman could have earned $20,000 per year as a bookkeeper, but instead was a homemaker for 15 years, the opportunity cost of being a homemaker would be $300,000.

If a woman had not become a homemaker, she may have achieved a higher level of education, received promotions, or even changed career paths. There is no way to truly know what her income would have been if she had stayed in the workforce. Women’s work in paid employment is frequently undervalued. They often earn less money than men who hold the same or comparable positions. Using these undervalued wages to determine the value of homemaking undervalues homemaking as well.

Replacement Cost
This method evaluates homemaking by determining how much it would cost to replace a homemaker with paid workers. All of the homemaker’s tasks and the amount of time spent on each are listed in the table on page 1 of this tip sheet. The hourly rate to hire an individual to perform each of these tasks is determined, and the cost is added up.
This method does not take into account the premiums that would have to be paid to get a professional to do the task for a small portion of time or to be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The cost to hire an individual to complete a particular task could vary greatly. For example, when estimating the value of a mother’s care for her children, should you equate a mother’s care to the time and care given by a typical child care worker or a child development specialist? Depending on which you use, the value of homemaking is very different.

Many jobs done by homemakers are undervalued in the paid economy. Most child care workers, cleaning personnel and food service employees receive very low wages, few benefits and little opportunity for growth and advancement within the field. Valuing homemaking in this way reflects the undervaluing of these tasks.

Replacement Cost
This method evaluates homemaking by determining how much it would cost to replace the homemaker by hiring one individual to complete all of her tasks.

As noted before, domestic workers are generally undervalued in our economy. When using these depressed wages to place a value on homemaking, we are undervaluing homemaking. For example, the median hourly earning, as listed in the May 2004 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the occupation of Home Health Aide is $8.81. Based on this value, a full-time (40 hours/week) worker earns $18,324 per year (52 weeks/year). This value is below poverty level for the average family of four ($18,850 a year).

In this method, it is assumed that a marriage is an equal economic partnership, that there is an equal division of responsibilities and that all the gains of partnership are shared equally by the partners. When a wife takes on the role of a homemaker, it allows her husband to earn income without being overburdened by family and household responsibilities. Using this method, a homemaker is worth half of her husband=s salary.

The wife of a man who earns $20,000 does not necessarily have half of the duties of the wife of a man who earns $40,000. In other words, her value is not dependent on her own productivity, only on that of her husband. This method also assumes the homemaker has a partner.

Quick Tips for Financial Stability

  • Pay off debt, contribute as much as possible to retirement funds and keep a hefty emergency fund.
  • Get insured.
  • Make sure you have retirement savings in your own name.
  • Consider working at least part-time once your children are school-age.

Tip sheet last updated 11/05

Court Concerned Over Growing Misuse of SC/ST Act

Court Concerned Over Growing Misuse of SC/ST Act

New Delhi | Apr 02, 2010

A Delhi court has expressed concern over rising incidents of misuse of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act "to settle personal scores".
The court's observations came while discharging nine members of a family, including five women, from charges under the Act for allegedly using abusive words against their tenants who belonged to the Scheduled Caste category.
"Unfortunately, one comes across growing instances of cases where the provisions of this Act have not so much been invoked for the betterment of those to whom it seeks to protect, than by those who want to settle personal scores by giving to an otherwise ordinary dispute, the colour of an alleged atrocity under the Act," Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said.
The court observed that the provisions of the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, meant to protect the lot of the exploited sections, should not be allowed to be misused.
"Law cannot be the absolute property of a few and this court can only hope and appeal that the provisions of this Special Legislation are not abused by a few so as to ensure that its benefit is able to actually reach the exploited sections," ASJ Lau said.
"This court also will not be a privy to any exploitative situation of misuse and abuse of this Act whose abuse has otherwise raised serious concerns all over the country," it said.
Recently, the Uttar Pradesh government has been compelled to take up the issue in the state assembly for relaxing the stringent provisions of SC/ST Act to check its abuse without compromising with the security of the marginalised sections of the society, it pointed out.
In this case, the court noted that complainant, Kanaklata, 30, a Master of Philosophy from Delhi University, had changed her statement before the police on May 4, 2008 and invoked the provisions of the SC/ST Act against the family members of her landlord after talking to her lawyer.
"I find that the present case is a glaring example of abuse of a Special Legislation with stringent provisions which has been enacted to ameliorate the lot of the hitherto, under-privileged, deprived and marginalised section of the society," ASJ Lau said.
The court said that complainant Kanaklata had spared none as she had in her improved version of the complaint, roped in the entire family of Om Prakash Grover, a senior citizen, including all women members.
She did not stop at this and further implicated the brother of the landlord Ved Prakash, his wife and his daughter -in-law who are not even residing in the same house and are resident of another property at Mukherjee Nagar here, it added.

Only officers should inquire into SC/ST atrocity cases: SP

Only officers should inquire into SC/ST atrocity cases: SP

March 29. 2010

Mangalore March 29: Superintendent of Police Dr A Subramanyeshwar Rao directed all police officers in the district not to handover cases under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act to Head Constables and Constables.

Addressing at an SC/ST grievance meet at the Police Guest House here on Sunday, Rao said that the police officers should directly conduct inquiry into such cases after visiting spots. Cases under the same SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act will be booked against those police officials, who do not respond to the complaints of Dalits properly, he warned.

The SP instructed that police should treat SC/ST complainants fairly and ensure that their complaints are registered properly. Treat all SC/ST complainants in the same manner you treat the rich, he said adding that cops should introspect themselves as to how members of the SC/ST communities were treated in their police stations.  Grievance meetings should be organised in all police stations on third Sundays of every month compulsorily. If the meeting was not conducted on the prescribed date due to any valid reason, the same should be conducted next day, Rao said. Initiative should be taken to create awareness on the provisions of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act at the station-level grievance meetings, he added.

Talking about cases related to tresspassing or encroachment on land belonging to Dalits, the SP said that such cases should also be considered under purview of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Police should register cases under the Act if prima facie offense was sighted in the complaint, he suggested.

Action sought against SIs

Karnataka Dalitha Sangharsha Samithi District Convener S P Ananda said that action should be taken against Sub Inspectors Chikkaswamy Gowda and Raghava Padil for allegedly torturing an Akashavani transmission executive Sudhakar, who is a Dalit.
Ananda brought to the notice of SP that Uppinangadi Sub Inspector demanded Rs 1,000 bribe from a Dalit youth Vasanth for putting a stall at the annual festival ground. He said that the officer had threatened Vasanth and removed his stall forcefully.

Explaining another complaint, Ananda said that the Kavoor Police detained Rajappa and his two-year-old child from morning till evening without any reason. Rajappa and his family were staying in a house constructed on government land for the past 20 years. However, the police harassed Rajappa without any complaints, he added. 

SP A S Rao assured that the police will conduct inquiry into all allegations and take necessary steps to ensure justice. Meanwhile, answering to a query with regard to the defamation complaint filed by former Mangalore University lecturer Umeshchandra against a Kannada daily Editor and Reporter, DySP S Girish said that the inquiry is in its final stage. A chargesheet will be submitted before the court soon, he added.  Additional SP R Ramesh, DySPs B J Bhandary and C K Shashidhar were present.

पत्नी को पाने के लिए पति की ससुराल वालों से जंग

पत्नी को पाने के लिए पति की ससुराल वालों से जंग


गाजियाबाद। एक शख्स ने आज अपनी पत्नी को पाने की आस नहीं छोड़ी है। उसे लगता है कि उसकी पत्नी जिंदा है और वो एक दिन जरूर वापस आएगी। इसी आस में वो इंसाफ की लड़ाई लड रहा है। ये दर्दभरी कहानी सिटीजन जर्नलिस्ट गौरव सैनी की है।

दरअसल गौरव की पत्नी मोनिका डागर अब इस दुनिया में नहीं है। लेकिन गौरव उसे भूल नहीं पाया है। गौरव की मानें तो मोनिका के परिवार वाले एक साल पहले मोनिका को गौरव के पास से लेकर चले गए और फिर बाद में बताया कि उसकी मौत हो गई। गौरव का कहना है कि मोनिका को उसके परिजनों ने कहीं छुपा कर रखा है।

गौरव ने बताया कि मोनिका बेहद होशियार लड़की थी, वो आईएएस आफिसर बनना चाहती थी। शादी के बाद वो एक बेटी को जन्म देना चाहती थी ताकि अपने परिवार को दिखा सके कि लड़कियां बेकार नहीं होती। गौरव की मानें तो दोनों ने मिलकर कई सपने देखे थे जो पूरे नहीं हो सके।

गौरव और मोनिका दोनों अलग जाति के होने के वाबजूद शादी कर ली। मोनिका के परिवार वाले दूसरी जाति के लड़के से शादी करने के लिए राजी नहीं थे। गौरव की मानें तो उसे धमकियां भी मिली थी। जवाब में गौरव ने मोनिका के परिवार वालों से कहा कि कानून उसके साथ है।

फिर दोनों ने 6 जुलाई 2009 को को आर्य समाज मन्दिर में शादी कर ली। कुछ दिन बाद मोनिका के घरवाले पुलिस लेकर गौरव के घर पहुंचे और गौरव के खिलाफ अपहरण का केस दर्ज करवा दिया।

शादी का प्रमाण पत्र दिखाने के बाद भी वो जबर्दस्ती मोनिका को साथ ले गए और पुलिस ने गौरव को हिरासत में ले लिया। एक महीना डासना जेल में रहने के बाद गौरव रिहा हुआ। फिर उसने दिल्ली हाई कोर्ट में अपील दायर की। जिस पर कोर्ट ने मोनिका को 7 अक्टूबर 2009 को कोर्ट के सामने पेश करने के लिए कहा। जिसके बाद दिल्ली पुलिस मोनिका को लाने के गई तो उस गांव के सरपंच ने पुलिस से कहा कि मोनिका मर चुकी है। लेकिन गौरव नहीं मानता की मोनिका मर चुकी है।

सबूत के तौर पर मोनिका के परिवार वालों ने पेपर पेश किए की उसे एक अस्पताल मे भर्ती किया गया था। लेकिन अस्पताल के रिकार्ड में लिखा है कि मोनिका को कुछ दिन बाद स्वस्थ हालत में डिस्चॉर्ज किया गया। गौरव का कहना है कि अगर मोनिका मर चुकी है तो उसके परिवार वालों के पास सबूत के तौर पर पोस्टमार्टम रिपोर्ट या किसी डॉक्टर का डेथ सर्टीफिकेट पर साइन क्यों नहीं है।

पुलिस ने जब केस रिव्यू किया तो मोनिका के परिवार वालों पर क्रिमिनल कॉनपिरेसी और मर्डर का चार्ज लगाया। लेकिन वो बेल पर छूट गए हैं। जिस जांच अधिकारी ने मेरे ऊपर अपहरण का केस लगाया था उसे सस्पेंड कर दिया गया है। लेकिन गौरव आज भी मोनिका की आस में इंसाफ की लड़ाई लड़ रहा है।

Poverty no reason to reduce rape sentence: Bombay High Court ; but can FEMALE GENDER be the reason

But Gender can be. had such a criminal offence be committed by a WOMAN she would have got the reprieve

Poverty no reason to reduce rape sentence: Bombay High Court

Mumbai: Poverty can not be a reason to show leniency towards a rape-accused, Bombay High Court has said.
Under section 376 of Indian Penal Code, minimum punishment for rape is seven-year rigorous imprisonment, and a judge can give a lesser sentence for "adequate and special reasons". But socio-economic status of accused is irrelevant for this purpose, Justice A P Bhangale of Nagpur bench of High Court said in a ruling last week.

Satinath Raut, a labourer, was accused of raping a 22-year-old woman at his village Warthi, in Bhandara district. Raut entered her house when there was nobody else at home except for her 3-year-old daughter, and raped the woman at knife-point.
Sessions court in Bhandara awarded him seven years' imprisonment in February 2007.
In the appeal before the High Court, he pleaded that he had a large family --- five children and an ailing mother-- therefore the sentence may be reduced. Sessions court could have been more lenient with him on this ground, his lawyer argued.
But upholding the sentence, Justice Bhangale said in his judgement that "socio-economic status of the accused or his religion, caste, creed are irrelevant factors", as per Supreme Court's earlier rulings.

Demanding AMENDMENT of IPC 498a and DOWRY LAWS. STOP Misuse of 498a- SAVE INDIAN FAMILY FOUNDATION (SIFF) Swaroop Sarkar raise voice as Citizen journalist

Demanding AMENDMENT of IPC 498a and DOWRY LAWS. STOP Misuse of 498a- SAVE INDIAN FAMILY FOUNDATION (SIFF) Swaroop Sarkar raise voice as Citizen journalist



Full text of 13 august 2010 Supreme Court Of India order on the Misuse of IPC 498a and asking Parliament to revisit/relook dowry-related legislation is available at the link below

related media news

'Pregnant woman can't be forced to appear in court'

'Pregnant woman can't be forced to appear in court'

NEW DELHI: A woman who is at an advanced stage of pregnancy cannot be forced to appear in a court, a Delhi court has said.
It came to the help of an expectant mother against whom a non-bailable warrant was issued by a lower court for not appearing in a dowry harassment case.

Additional Sessions Judge R K Gauba expressed the court's displeasure over the lower court judge not exempting the six-month pregnant woman from personally appearing in criminal proceedings.

The court also took exception to the lower court putting a condition as -- either accept the charge or appear before it -- on the lawyer representing the woman seeking exemption from appearance.

"The law does not permit the court to put conditions of the kind indicated in the order. The requirement of the law for appearance of the accused is subject to just exceptions which include physical impossibility," ASJ Gauba said.

"This requirement (of appearance) cannot be used to arm-twist the accused or her counsel to accept the charge. I find the language used to be rather loose," the court said.

Granting relief to 25-year-old Meenakshi, who is facing charges in a dowry case, the ASJ set aside the lower court's order and exempted her from personal appearance in the case.

During the proceedings in the lower court, the woman sought its permission for non-appearance as she was at the advanced stage of pregnancy.

But the lower court issued non-bailable warrant against her. She filed a revision petition before the sessions court challenging the order to issue NBW against her.

"If it was confirmed by proper documents in support, as has been done through the documents in the revision petition indicating the petitioner to be under ante-natal care since January 13 this year, the exemption deserved to be granted," the court said.

Policeman assaulted by group of women in UP

Policeman assaulted by group of women in UP

PTI, Sep 11, 2010, 12.36pm IST

SHAHJAHANPUR: Infuriated over a policeman allegedly misbehaving with a girl, a group of women assaulted him with slippers and sandals and dragged him out of the police station in Jalalabad area here.

Officials said on Saturday that the women were angered over senior sub-inspector Jagdish Singh, posted at Jalalabad police station, allegedly misbehaving with the girl when she came to meet her brother detained by police two days back.

The women attacked Singh at the police station with slippers and sandals yesterday, they said.
In a bid to escape the attack, the SSI locked himself in a room following which the agitated women broke open the door and dragged Singh out of the police station, they said.

Later, the women blocked a main crossing here which was lifted only after the senior officials assured them that their complaint would be looked into.

The matter was being investigated and a case has been lodged against the women for preventing a government employee in discharging his duty and for assault, Additional Superintendent of Police Surendra Varma said.

"If SSI is found guilty then action will be taken against him," he said.

Its complicated The twilight area between marriage and divorce

Its complicated The twilight area between marriage and divorce

Many estranged couples choose to separate, but not divorce. Seema Sinha meets some to discover how they negotiate their parallel lives

Breaking all convention, Babita decided to walk out of the Kapoor household along with her two daughters, Karisma and Kareena. Reportedly, Babita could not cope with the larger-than-life figure of Randhir's father and filmmaker Raj Kapoor over his life. Decades later, Randhir Kapoor and Babita continue to remain husband and wife, though leading separate lives. "Randhir Kapoor believes in the sanctity of marriage. He has always said that she is the mother of their daughters," says Madhu Jain, author of Kapoors: The First Family of Indian Cinema.

The love has faded, but the couple is wary of looking for new partners. In another case, Ratna Adarkar (name changed) and her husband of 25 years have decided to live a life of compromise, sans the "hassles" of divorce. These are not the only ones who are choosing to stay in the twilight area between marriage and divorce. According to the experts, breaking up is hard — and expensive!

Long after romance is dead, a separation or "non-divorce" offers a happier alternative. Sometimes, they stay together to avoid the expenses of a new household. Actor Saif Ali Khan reportedly decided to divorce Amrita Singh only after his career zoomed with Dil Chahta Hai. Till then, they lived under the same roof, though they remained emotionally distant, reveals a veteran film journalist.

There are no hard statistics, but some divorce experts say they're seeing more of this phenomenon. Says psychiatrist Rajendra Barve, "This gives them space, minus the commitment, which is like having their cake and eating it, too. They may also want to avoid the 'stigma' of divorce." Remarks psychiatrist Kersi Chawda, "If neither plans to marry again, they may simply want to avoid the expenses and time that goes into legally ending their marriage."

Prominent actress Raakhee Gulzar and her writer- director husband Gulzar are one such couple, who have lived separately for years. Says senior film journalist Dinesh Raheja, "Their daughter Bosky kept them bonded. Gulzar and Raakhee would meet for her sake, attend PTA meetings together." In fact, when Gulzar won an Oscar for his contribution to the film Slumdog Millionaire, Raakhee commented that "her husband" was the best.

One of the most glaring examples in Bollywood is of high-profile star couple Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia, who also chose the middle path of 'non-divorce'. In the 80s, both the auburn-haired gorgeous Dimple as well as the yesteryear superstar wanted divorce, but when Rajesh Khanna began dodging Dimple's demand for financial security for her young daughters, the actress too refused to sign the divorce papers. "Her daughter Twinkle, in her teens then, strongly felt that her parents shouldn't be living together," says the veteran journalist.

Adds Dinesh, "But over the years, the bitterness between Rajesh and Dimple washed away. I have seen them enjoy a party together and found them very comfortable in each other's company. Dimple campaigned for him during elections and also worked in his film. I guess it has worked out for them living separately rather than coming home to be with each other."

Explains a marriage counsellor, "A couple may not legally divorce for the children's sake, or if there is the issue of division of wealth and inheritance. They may also want to keep up appearances in society."

Relationship experts say the arrangement can allow partners to discreetly date other people while keeping up an illusion of marriage for children and the community at large. And finances, significantly, stay intact. "They are really making pragmatic, businesslike decisions for their marriage," point out experts. Also, with both partners working, not all women care for alimony.

But, it may not always turn out favourable. Married for three years and separated for a year, Anandita, an investment banker, who has a one-year-old daughter, feels embittered and cheated by her philandering husband. "He has not filed for divorce and I don't want to either, because I don't want to remarry. I can't have a stranger in my life. When my daughter grows up, I don't want her to blame me for the separation," says Anandita, who is stuck with responsibilities while her husband has it easy.

Talking about the rights of women in such a situation, women's right lawyer Flavia Agnes, points out that women can claim maintenance and demand their right to stay in the same house. "Often, when men decide to remarry, they pressurise their spouse for divorce. Here, the wife can negotiate for a good settlement, a lump sum amount and shelter in the same house," says Flavia. A marriage counsellor adds that she has witnessed couples staying together despite disagreements to claim benefits of medical and pension plans.

However, can the so-called "non-divorced" ever move on emotionally? The emotional and legal closure of an official divorce may forever elude them. They can also find themselves in a difficult spot when one or both partners begin to seriously date again.
It's also financially risky, point out the experts. A partner who no longer lives with you can still ruin your finances or put you in debt.

On the other hand, if you gain assets, your partner could still legally claim half.

Their status is definitely complicated!