Home Economics: The Sweat Off Her Brow
Even though the Commerce Department puts the value of housework to the U.S. economy at $1.46 billion, women at home with children are not working hard enough to register in the hearts and minds of Congress, who still equate staying home with being lazy. Oddly enough, if a mother gets a job outside the home and someone else cares for her children, they are both considered productive workers. But if mom stays home with the kids, there is no compensation. Some other countries acknowledge the value of this work and pay a family allowance to women with children. But in the U.S., with the strongest economy in the world, women work a double day.
Pheobe Schellenberg is co-coordinator of the Wages for Housework Campaign. She argues that if people are the end and the aim of production, then caring for people is productive work and should be viewed as such.