New Delhi, January 5: In an important observation that could go a long away in promoting gender equality in the country, the Supreme Court, while hearing an insurance dispute case, said the calculation of notional income of homemakers must be based on their work, labour and sacrifices.
“This is in furtherance of our nation’s international law obligations and our constitutional vision of social equality and ensuring dignity to all,” the court said, NDTV reported.
The judgement in the insurance compensation case was delivered by a three-judge bench of Justices NV Ramana, S Abdul Nazeer and Surya Kant.
“The sheer amount of time and effort that is dedicated to household work by individuals, who are more likely to be women than men, is not surprising when one considers the plethora of activities a housemaker undertakes. A housemaker often prepares food for the entire family, manages the procurement of groceries and other household shopping needs, cleans and manages the house and its surroundings, undertakes decoration, repairs and maintenance work, looks after the needs of the children and any aged member of the household, manages budgets and so much more,” Justice Ramana wrote.
“The issue of fixing notional income for a homemaker, therefore, serves extremely important functions. It is a recognition of the multitude of women who are engaged in this activity, whether by choice or as a result of social/cultural norms. It signals to society at large that the law and the courts of the land believe in the value of the labour, services and sacrifices of homemakers,” he added.
The observations came while the court was hearing a case linked to the deaths of a couple – in their twenties – in an accident in 2014. While the husband worked as a teacher, the wife was a homemaker. They have two children.