The daily grind of looking after their children and families, albeit with no remuneration, has led housewives in Kerala to form a trade union, demanding that the government pay them a fixed salary and old-age pension for the services being rendered.
Celebrating international Women's Day on Sunday, they said a registered union would be formed by the month-end.
Sulochana Ramakrishnan, the meet convener, stressed the need for women to play an important role in nation-building and said the collective would chalk out its strategy before March 25. She quoted a study saying that housewives spend at least 273 minutes a day looking after their children.
V P Suhara of 'Nisa' said the union would oppose the concept of polygamy and divorce. As in Venezuela, minimum wages and social security should be given to housewives, she said.
She pointed out that in the modern world, the role of a woman was not just limited to women's issues. They are also involved in agitations over the environment, water scarcity, threats facing the earth and other countless social issues.
Even as these agitations were going on, there were attempts to curtail their freedom, she said, adding that these negative forces should be defeated through a 'unique attempt.'
Organisations like Woman's Voice, Nisa, Kerala Sthree Vedi, Voice, Jeevana, Jeevan, Neethi Vedi and Kerala Adivasi Forum participated in the meeting.
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