The ruling has since sparked a huge debate about the 'real value' of domestic work
In a landmark ruling, a Chinese woman has been granted compensation for all the housework she did during the course of her marriage. The ruling has since sparked a huge debate about the 'real value' of domestic work, reported NBC news.
According to reports, Ms Wang was awarded 50,000 yuan for the five years of 'unpaid labour' she had done for her ex-husband Mr Chen. The ruling was possible due to China's new civil code that became admissible only this year. The new law states that a spouse is entitled to seek compensation in a divorce if he or she bears more responsibility in assisting their partners in their work, child-raising or taking care of elderly relatives. The judge presiding over the couples' case apparently said that in such cases, the court only takes care of splitting tangible property, housework constitutes intangible property but despite that, he ruled in favour of Ms Wang. Mr Chen had filed for divorce from his wife after five years of marriage but didn't expect his ex-wife to respond with a request for financial compensation. She argued that Chen hadn’t taken on any childcare responsibility and that he didn’t contribute to any housework.
The case sparked a fierce debate over domestic labour and compensation. It was heard at Beijing’s Fangshan District Court, and Chen was ordered to pay monthly alimony of 2000 yuan and a one-off payment of 50,000 yuan for the housework. Many complained that 50,000 yuan for five years of work isn’t sufficient and that they believe the kind of work a housewife does is still underestimated. "There is no clear standard on how much the compensation should be. However, the court made the calculation based on the marriage period, family income, the living standard of the community and more," Beijing based divorce lawyer Yi Yi told NBC News.
NBC interviewed locals to get their views on the same, Xu Dongmei, 54, a stay-at-home mom from Zhejiang province in eastern China, apparently said that Wang's case made her reflect on her own domestic situation. She then explained that while she believes it would be "cruel" not to receive any compensation for a life dedicated to the family, her sense of value or acknowledgement is different. "I made a hard decision for my son. I felt a sense of loss as I lost my independent income, when I give love and accompany my son and see him grow up in a happy environment, I feel my value," the woman said.