Wife: Can I have some money?
Husband: For what?
Just two sentences. A simple conversation. Perhaps played out daily across millions of households in India. But heavy with symbolism. The way society—and men—looks at non-earning women. The homemakers. The pillars of families. Those who work ceaselessly from sunrise—cook, clean, wash up, manage children and more—till bedtime and beyond. Yet, their work is never seen as ‘real work’. Work that is never measured in terms of money. It’s their ‘duty’. It’s how it works in a highly patriarchal world. In the biggest irony of this universe, the term working women does not include those who carry the heaviest burden. The definition of a homemaker is clear—a person who manages the household of his or her own family as a principal occupation. But the bigger issue is not—whether this occupation should be paid in terms of monetary benefits.
The debate has swung back into the spotlight with political parties promising...