Housewives will now share assets equally with their working husbands, according to a court ruling in Tamil Nadu, South India.
The court said roles played by women in marriages could be equated to the hours spent by the husband at work.
Justice Krishnan Ramasamy ruled over a property dispute involving a couple.
In a domestic dispute case in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, filed in the year 1995. The husband, who is the defendant, claimed ownership of all the properties and assets owned by the couple that he said had been the one earning money for the family.
The wife’s lawyer had argued that when they married, the couple had a mutual understanding that she would stay at home and take care of their children while her husband worked to earn money.
After his death in 2007, the case was pursued by their children.
In June, the judge ruled that the woman had equal access to her husband’s property after they agreed as a family that she would focus on child care while the husband worked.
Women’s rights advocates say the judgement is particularly significant in a patriarchal country like India, where women are likely housewives.
The judges asserted that the contribution made by either the husband by earning or the wife by caring for the family would mean that both are entitled equally to whatever they earned by their joint effort.
In his verdicts, the judge said working as a housewife for “24 hours without holidays performing various roles including that of chef, manager, home doctor, and home economist” and sacrificing her dream for the family.
“While there is no law that recognises a wife’s contribution, there is nothing to prevent a court from doing so,” the judge said.
However, the court judgement is particular to only Tamil Nadu court states in India.
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