How much is a housewife worth

Does any one remember the controversy that happened last year during census?


The Supreme Court, in a stinging ruling, questioned the government’s Census parameters which place housewives and women engaged in domestic work in the same economic bracket as “prostitutes, beggars and prisoners”.


I started wondering what would be the value placed on a housewife’s work … which is, as of now, unpaid labor


Chore Existing Rate per month
Cook 6,000
Driver 5,000
Tutor (all subjects @6,000 per child 12,000
Nurse 10,000
Home manager 30,000
Wardrobe manager 10,000
Pet Sitter 5,000
Safe sex provider 50,000 (at least)
Baby birther (don’t knock it, most families look for a fertile bride) 50,000 (at least)
Mother in law tantrums receiver 1,00,000


I think this is a modest estimate.


Feel free to add any chore I’ve left out ….


Now I would like any male readers I have to this blog to introspect and wonder if they can afford to get married or not.


If I have not lost my male readers, I ask them to value their spouses


If I’ve pissed them off – they are welcome to troll the comment section.  I reserve the rights to delete any comment which I dont like


To my older son’s accusation that this is all male bashing let me clarify, I want a housewife too, I really I really I really want one. I am working hard and hope I can afford one soon. This post is not male bashing, it is about valuing someone who makes the house a home and a group of people a family. I was brought up in a home made by a housewife. Ask Kid#2 how much he misses Naani and you’ll know the stellar role a home maker has, it is irreplaceable.

Link to Prateek Gupta’s spirited retort to this post


65 thoughts on “How much is a housewife worth

  1. In the words of Mac Donald’s – “I am loving it”….Umm what about housewife’s role as “google” – where is my glasses, file etc…Yes google is free but someone is paying someone somewhere for the damn thing to be functioning no?

  2. Lovely
    I could add 24/7 service, no weekends, over-time.
    Laundry services, external stakeholder management (read friends, family, guests).
    Househelp administration.

    • Bit of both actually. Another important thing is that women have been suppressed for so long that they don’t know their own true worth. They themselves undervalue their worth

  3. Awesome Rituji….Honestly you know what..I believe that a housewife should be given much much more than a working woman..I am a working mother and I feel that I get away with a lot of things that a housewife cant! I salute all the housewives honestly…they are simply great!

  4. Things have been running like this since time immemorial,it is way too difficult to change this stereotype…from cooking before leaving for work,returning from work and then cooking again,to putting clothes in washing machine,i do it ALL.
    & My husband just has a job to manage.

    how to drum sense into people?
    this should be in a national paper.

  5. Please add the duties of adviser and counselor too. When your kids reach teenage I surmise the dad rarely has anything to do to become their best friend. It’s the mom who has to become a friend, philosopher and guide and also offer free counselling from time to time.

    Mother-in-law tantrums receiver.. XD. That should be the most expensive one yes. Awesome post.

  6. A lot of women stay in unhappy, abusive marriages because despite all this economic worth they have no financial security, I was reading about a new bill that might change this…
    One of the things women do is they give up opportunities of becoming self reliant, (not just financially and not necessarily because they choose it) so that the partner can earn and provide for the family’s need, and still, how much independence they have generally depends on the partner’s mind set.
    Loved the post Ritu.

  7. “I started wondering what would be the value placed on a housewife’s work … which is, as of now, unpaid labor”

    But the question is : is the housewife’s work really “unpaid”??

    “Payment”( if u really want to call it that) for a housewife is that she enjoys everything for FREE (everything bought by her hubby’s money!!)

    My opinion is that everything cannot be looked at or analysed in terms of money…..
    For example : how about paying your sons for all the love and happiness they gave you??

    Note: i have not read the comments…

    • First of all, is a housewife a charity case? What do you mean by “husband’s money” as though she is living on dole? It is just this kind of thinking that pisses me off. Which is why I think a salary valuation is necessary.

      And secondly, why only sons? Why not daughters too? And sadly the joy and pleasure comes along with back breaking sewa one does for the children, in which the husband is a inactive participant most of the times.

      If she was paid, this argument would not have arisen

      • “in which the husband is a inactive participant most of the times.”
        Full agreement. That happens precisely because how children grow up in India, especially male kids, nowadays even female kids. A simple solution is fire all maids and other “servants” and make the kids(plus mom and dad) do all the household work…...this simple family reform will revolutionize Indian society whose primary beneficiary will be women ..

        “And secondly, why only sons? Why not daughters too?”

        Lol…as far as i know u have sons…thats why i talked of “only” sons.
        Now once i clarified this….let me again ask the “re-framed” question :how about paying sons and daughters for all the love and happiness they gave you??

        “First of all, is a housewife a charity case? What do you mean by “husband’s money” as though she is living on dole?”

        Dont misunderstand me.
        i would never make a valuation of a housewife in terms of money.
        You talked about salary of a housewife…i did not.

        “Which is why I think a salary valuation is necessary”

        If she gets a salary then she will have to pay the bills for living in the husband’s house!….and also for her jewellery ,clothes and all other expenses….

      • You mean in the same way as a man/person who works in the offices should not be paid a salary as then they will be required to pay for the job satisfaction, pleasure of making new friends, internet time, coffee/tea, getting holidays and weekends, and most importantly getting supreme pleasure of applying their brains?

      • haha…if my company pays/provides for my :-
        1)Food( anything and everything that i may like)
        3)All my entertainment needs
        4)All my travel and vacation expenses
        5)My household expenses..
        6)School fees for my kids…and each and every desire of mine..also takes care of my retirement benefits .. then why do i need a salary…. 🙂

      • Don’t go on a slippery slope of logic. Analyze what you have written. This is not an argument to be won but rather a issue to be thought over.
        When you start using terms like “all my pleasures, all my food etc.” do you think you are talking a level playing field?

      • Glad you clarified @Indian Pundit. I am fiesty sigh! Oh yes, I agree, the housewife, if she is paid, can take care of her expenses and also her trinkets, and hire an assistant to help her with the chores. I am not talking of paying the children, because they are not undervalued or suppressed. If our country equates housewives with prostitutes, beggars and prisoners, the evaluation becomes necessary.

        I am all for husbands and children, actually every member of the house pitching in to do the chores. It would end all the unnecessary tyranny and stress of looking after the home

  8. If the woman is a housewife, and husband is the sole money-earner, both the husband and wife should realise that without the wife, who manages the home/kids etc, the huband wont be in a condition to go out and do the job. So, even though “technically” the hubby is the one who is doing the job, it is both the husband and wife who are the bread-earners. But sadly, not all of us are mature enough to think it this way (otherwise, the housewives would be valued and respected the same way the money earning man is), and hence, your list makes perfect sense! :). I hope all housewives who think they are not contributing to the family income should read this. Same for the men who think they are the “sole” bread earners.

    • Yes Neha. I was reading a news item which showed the pittance paid by a court as compensation for a housewife’s life and it pissed me off. That led to this post – which is just a small effort to sensitize and bring awareness to the worth of a lady who manages the house we go back to, after our day’s work

  9. I dont know if i am happy to see this or more concerned.. its the worth in terms of money..
    but that also amounts to equating the Housewife to anybody else who can do this…( maids/ servants/ counselor
    so we are saying if any husband agrees to pay his wife…and he feels she is not doing a good job….
    if sole bread earning man gets a person who can be more efficient with the money given to housewife.. can he get a new help in that money
    We are undermining women by doing this comparison.
    Worth of a housewife can never be equated with money! i am a working woman but i know what it takes to run my house…

    • Sadly @kk our country does not seem to think so. Our country clubs housewives with a list comprising of prostitutes, beggars and prisoners. Our courts do not acknowledge notional values of a housewife’s contribution, and does not deem it worthy. So one may as well bring some sums of money on the table for discussion

    • every single task/output should and must be measured in financial terms as that’s where the buck stops worldwide. There is nothing wrong in being compared to other hard working population in the same work area hence we need to re program our minds and look at work as valued output and not high/low class or easy/difficult. That normalizes and treats all humans across class, gender, money in equal fashion rather than idolize/trample upon roles.

  10. pls pls pls redo this list.. monthly components for all the services provided .. pls pls pls.. i sooo love this list. And u know what? i really think that all women should ask for this monthly salary from husbands too. Not bcs they are not one entity and this is a ploy to commoditise women.. i m happy to be a commodity that is paid for – as against being treated like junk that has to “ask permission” for all personal expenses.

    There is this joke about a man who would often tell his wife “of u are at home all day. u have no idea how hard i have to work in office.” One day, he came home to find everything in a mess. the children hadnt had a bite all day etc.. he comes to his room to find the wife sitting cooly. “remember you used to ask me what i do at home all day anyway? well, today i didnt do it.”

    But more importantly, unless u put a number on a contribution, it is nebulous and unvalued. If women start saying “this much is my money, and mine alone.” their self worth will improve, above all else.

    Oh, and roles that you should add:
    PR agent for the social image of the family
    Networker with other parents
    Money Manager (in some houses)
    PA to the husband and the mil and in some cases, the fil.
    PYT (bcs the woman is expected to look pretty no matter what) escort fee for parties and evenings.
    And surrogate mom fees is a cool 2 Lakhs per instance, plus all the medical bills.

    Getting a housekeeper to look after your house: 30 K
    Getting piping hot food when u come home : 10 K
    Getting clean clothes every morning: 5 K
    Having children you can call your own : 4-5 Lakhs
    Entering your house and feeling loved by someone : Priceless.

  11. I hate this post…..
    Can you put a number on a wife??
    Wife is something which makes a man. She cares and picks up her man’s fight when he is down. I don’t have a housewife but I can tell you that if you have a woman who cares for you so much to become a housewife then you cant joke about these things.

    P.S. I feel the question you will never see on this blog is “How much is a loving husband worth?”

    • Oye Ishaan, I want a housewife too, I really I really I really want one. I am working hard and hope I can afford one soon. This post is not male bashing, it is about valuing someone who makes the house a home and a group of people a family. I was brought up in a home made by a housewife. Ask Kid#2 how much he misses Naani and you’ll know the stellar role a home maker has, it is irreplaceable.

  12. Pingback: Worth of Husband & A Book Launch | Ginger & Cardamom


  14. ROFL I am laughing out aloud and have sent this to N this is really funny

    loved loved loved the post gave me the much needed laughter

  15. Okay, this is what i would calculate
    Maid $120/week (thats what mine costs)
    Preschool 7 am to 6 pm private $250 per kid
    Secretary mine runs $15 per hour, works roughly 20 hours per week $300
    I cook or go out for meals so lets just add $100 for going out
    I don’t need a nurse/ thats what i pay insurance for
    I don’t need a home manager (seriously?)
    My animals have dog doors and food all the time
    SAFE SEX PROVIDER?? they have free clinics
    Mother in law i guess we wouldn’t have to deal with ur mom either. so I give it 750 a week which turns out thats what you should pay a decent executive assistant.

  16. Totally Agreed by you..This world can never estimate the worth of a housewife.
    I am also a housewife by choice..and trying to be happy in this situation also..But people will never shut there mouth by asking again n again what are you doing nowadays?how do you do your time pass.I am frustrated .it is not easy for me to stay at home n do all my day passed without doing some the end of day i get nothing whatever efforts m doing are better v should get also salary for our dones.then only woman v vl be able to say tht she is not doing time pass..she is also earning same as engineers n mangers…

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