“Who has no work? Those who do not work, please stand up”.
The women stood up. Majority of the nearly 500 delegates of the Kananga Women’s Council Assembly claimed that they had no work. “You are lucky”, said I. That when you go home tired from the trip, you’ll sit on the sofa, watch TV and wait for dinner. Then after dinner watch TV again or sleep. Then wake up to a new day with breakfast served on the table, clean freshly pressed clothes and a spic and span house waiting. The children are well-groomed and ready for school.
Everyone roared into laughter. So I posed the question again, “who has no work?” Nobody stood up.
The work that most women do at home in performing their reproductive roles is real work. How much is the monetary value of women’s work at home? If we itemize all the tasks, activities and roles that women do and impute the prevailing hourly rate for that specific task, full-time housewives deserves more than the minimum wage.
The newly passed Kasambahay (Household Service Worker) Bill which will soon become a law sets the minimum monthly wage of the worker at Php 2,500.00 (US $ 63) for those in Metro Manila and lower in the less urbanized areas and towns. The braver ones who are mostly college level get at least $400 in Hongkong and Singapore and lesser in the Middle East.
Hence, your job that requires planning and organizing skills, communication, time management, dexterity, numeracy, patience, flexibility, loyalty, strength, compassion and love on a never ending course deserves to be valued more.
Let me ask you again, “Do you have work?”