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Salary to the wife? Men's groups fume over proposed law

September 10, 2012 12:09 IST
The central government's proposal to introduce a law, which, if passed, would mandate every man to part with a portion of his salary income as salary to his wife, has been strongly opposed by men's rights groups.

Save Family Foundation, a non-government organisation, has written a letter to Union Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath seeking immediate withdrawal of the proposal.

The foundation, representing around 40 different men's organisations across the country, has termed this proposal one-sided.

The organisation has also sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention in this matter.

Opposing the proposal, Swarup Sarkar, founder member of Save Family Foundation, noted, "The government must focus on bringing laws that are gender neutral. Any law that can lead to breakdown of the society must not be passed. The Women and Child Development ministry is proposing a law of providing salary to housewives keeping in mind only the interests of women. However, no one in the government is ready to accept the fact that a husband gives away his entire salary to his wife."

Noting that if
the Centre formulates a law to provide monthly salary to wives, then all other professional conditions must also apply at home, says Virag Dhulia, head of gender studies at Confidare Research, Bengaluru.

He says, "This means that the husband shall also have right to audit the maintenance of the house by the wife. There should be regular performance appraisal and the husband shall reserve right to fire the wife if she fails to perform in household chores. Also, it must not be a mandate on a husband to provide expenses for clothes, entertainment and cosmetic-make up."

Vrunda Grover, a senior advocate in the Supreme Court and women's rights activist, noted that instead of giving salary to the wife, "the government must look at providing equal share to woman in husband's property. It is a notable provision to provide salary to wife, but it also makes it look as if the husband is boss and wife is servant."

Sahiya Dehlawi, noted writer who works for women empowerment, observed that if the government provides for a share in fixed deposit or policies, it would work in a better direction for social security for women.

Vicky Nanjappa