By Isaac Kyei Andoh
Housewives are usually seen by many people as grumpy women who are a burden on a husband working to take care of many mouths singlehandedly.
At the home, their husbands are at par with God because, without them, the light at the end of the tunnel will be off. However, being a housewife can be the most tiring responsibility to should shoulder. The job at home starts and ends at the wee hours of the day and night respectively.
The housewife is mostly the first to rise from bed and the last to retire to bed. Her duty is to make sure everyone is fine but the housewife or to be fair most housewives are rarely fine. They live a very lonely life with working tools their only friends when dad goes to work outside and kids to school.
Being a housewife is a career choice couples make to make the woman employed by the home.
In this case, the woman stays at home, takes care of everything at home with the husband whilst the man works outside to bring money home.
This decision is reached when the income of the man is deemed enough to take care of everyone and everything at home. The man provides, the woman administers. Without hindsight, it will seem fair but the truth is that most men don’t put everything on the table. (Will come back to this point)
Where the husband is not deemed capable of doing it all alone, a conscious effort is made to get the woman working.
The housewife spends all her life taking care of the family whilst the husband spends his entire life making money for that service. Some men will put a fraction on the table, live promiscuously with what he has. He owes his wife no explanation because the money is his. The woman should be thankful he brings money home and be content.
Some of these men will rather spend more on a side-chick’s beautification. What if the woman at home had money of her own to buy the clothes she deserves so that she too can look good and trendy? What if the housewife ceases to be that woman who always smells of onions?
Remember, this woman is at the mercy of her husband for everything. Then one day the man dies and she is left with the children to take care of. She has no monthly salary to look forward to and in many cases no savings because she worked at home and that comes without a pay.
Statistically, men are more likely to die before their wives so the women end up shouldering the burden of raising the children singlehandedly. Globally, women live on the average four years more than men. Though this cannot generally be applied, it means that the average man dies before his wife. A man must want to see his children live normal without them.
In view of this, what if measures are put in place to provide a form of security for the woman and the children beyond what the man bequeaths to them after death. That can’t go without saying that most men in our part of the world die without a property for the family they live behind.
This is why securing the future of the housewife and by extension, the kids is quite critical. Beyond that, there are many needs of such women that some husbands married to housewives don’t make provisions for. She needs money to be independent.
WHY SHOULD THIS BE ENFORCED BY LAW?
If you think it’s an appeal to the conscience or plea for sympathy, you are wrong, it is a right every housewife must enjoy and it must be enforced by law. Working for a salary should be made a right so that anyone who places another in a position that makes it impossible for another to exercise that right gets a legally binding duty of paying the person. This means that a company worker who gets an accident whilst working should be paid by his employees with full benefits until he dies.
Being a housewife is a complete job, it is a productive venture that ensures that the man has the time and freedom to make wealth. It is only fair to share the spoils of a labour she contributed directly to.
Many men force their women into this venture just to be their sole source of support, it can give room for oppression and leave the woman unable to seek freedom even in an abusive marriage.
To some men, making their wives housewives is tantamount to plucking the feathers of a bird to prevent it from flying. Every human needs security. The featherless bird needs to be provided for beyond food.
If a man can’t pay, then it means he has no right to make the woman a housewife.
If you care to know, some women are forced to be housewives.
WHAT IF THE MAN IS AGAINST THE WOMAN BEING A HOUSEWIFE
I know a couple whose major issue has to do with the woman to work for a salary or trade in spite of constant calls from her husband to do so She has wasted monies meant for working capital, refused to learn a trade and remains at home as a self-employed housewife.
The man says that bearing the full cost of providing for the home singlehandedly is affecting their progress and therefore wants his wife to be an income earner so that they can at least save that for the future.
Such a woman will not be entitled to this payment because no one pays self-employed people. This will, however, be of immense to the many women who are forced to be housewives or agree with their husbands to play such role for the benefit of the family.
If it is seen as a security for the woman and the children in the case of any eventuality, then we can make headway and husbands with the means will do so gladly. Husbands who cannot afford to pay will not have any choice than to make their wives work.
When a woman is productive, the kids will never have to drop out of school when dad is no more or when dad loses his job. She will have a capital to start something. I have encountered many people struggling in life because dad died or lost his job at a time when mum wasn’t earning income. These people would have continued their education with a better chance of succeeding if this proposal was in operational and enforced.
In families that both parents make money, sometimes dad can lose his job without the impact felt because mum stepped in and took care of things. A paid housewife can be a stopgap at such times and even more.
We cannot treat being a housewife as a voluntary service when in reality it is a demanding job most women are forced to do largely by the needs of the home or jealous insecure husbands.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines a housewife as ‘a woman whose work is inside the home, doing the cleaning, cooking, etc., and who usually does not have any other job’
Going by the above definition of a housewife by Cambridge, then a working husband who doesn’t have to put a shift at home should then be defined ‘as a man whose work is outside the home and usually does not have any other job.’
When you see it this way, then you have a clear case of complementary division of roles for the good of the family. If a couple decides to operate like this, then it is only fair to reward the woman to generally give some security dignity to the role of housewives who are mostly deemed burdens on their husbands.
The man cannot just put part of what he earns on the table for food, keep the rest in his pocket, fill tables at pubs for applauds and leave the woman without money for herself and the kids just in case. It will surprise you to know that some of the men who put up great shows and spend so much at restaurants have a deprived woman sitting at home as a housewife with not much beyond food.
Go to restaurants and see how older men who come there with young ladies ‘spoil the table’ with drinks and food drowned by meat from various species of animals. Do you ask yourself about the state of possibly the woman at home who thinks her husband is out working for the family?
If the man can’t afford to pay, the woman then has the power to work and earn money. Both ways is a win situation for the family.
We must start respecting and securing housewives because they have a decent job with the only difference being that it is at home.
Admittedly, there some housewives who are paid at the end of every month or those who get enough money for keeping the home that part ends up in their account but the majority live at the mercy of their husbands and find themselves in a state where they cannot ‘live’ without them.
Every housewife should be brought to the place where she can live without her husband. Some women are bound to abusive relationships because they have no security outside it. Let’s secure them now.
What do you think?
I know some people will post comments and even insult me without reading the full article. It’s normal.
Isaac Kyei Andoh