“The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only, and that is to support the ultimate career.” - C.S. Lewis
A home-maker is the foundation that holds a home together. He/ She is a pillar of support for the family, a guiding light for the children and haven for the elder members of the family. A homemaker works whole day round-the-clock without a single complaint or even a day off, regardless of the hectic outside professional job which they might have.
The amount of time and effort invested by a home-maker, who are more often women (that is housewives) than men, in doing household chores, does not surprise anyone considering the wide range of domestic work an individual undertakes during the entire day. A homemaker selflessly, out of sheer love and affection for the members, prepares food for the whole family, procures groceries & vegetables, manages various other household shopping requirements, keeps the house and its surroundings clean and tidy, takes care of house decor, repairs and maintenance work, fulfils the wishes of the children and takes care of the needs of any aged member of the family, manages the monthly expenses, prepares budgets and undertakes so many other important tasks that no one remembers or bothers about.
However, despite the self-sacrificing, tireless hard work he/she puts in, the effort completely goes unacknowledged and is not even appreciated enough as it not considered as a ‘job’ just because it is not paid for. Everyone forgets that how difficult of a task it is to count the various activities a home-maker carries out and the number of services he/she renders that definitely consist of hundreds of constituents that go into smooth functioning of a house hold itself, especially in terms of money. Thus, it is very important to understand that in reality, a homemaker does contribute to the economic condition of the family in its own way and ultimately to the economy of the nation too, irrespective of the fact that they are not included in the economic analyses of the country.
The conception that home-makers do not 'work' or do not make monetary contribution to the family or that they do not add economic value to the country is a very questionable idea that has lasted for many years and it is high time that it must be done away with.
SUPREME COURT’S JUDGEMENT
Corroborating with the above thought, the Hon’ble Supreme Court Bench of Justices NV Ramana, S Abdul Nazeer and Surya Kant recently passed a Judgment in the case of Kirti&Anr. Etc. v. Oriental Insurance Company Ltd  observing that the time put in by a homemaker in managing the domestic work and taking care of the household chores must be appreciated, recognised and valued and that the age-old idea that they do not contribute to the economy of the country must be overcome.
In the present case, the Deceased Couple Poonam and Vinod were killed in a road accident following a bike collision with a car. Subsequently, a Claim Petition was filed by the daughters and the elderly father of the Deceased under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal had awarded a compensation of Rs 47 lakhs, which was reduced to Rs 22 lakhs by the Delhi High Court and the claimants challenged this ruling before the Apex Court. The Supreme Court, replying to contentions rose, opined that there are two situations where the notional income of a victim is determined. Under the first situation, the Court determines the notional income of the victim when she was employed, but in the present case Claimants were unable to prove her actual income and thus in this case the Court takes into consideration factors such as evidence on record, the quality of life being led by the victim and her family, the qualifications of the victim, etc. Under the second situation, the Court determines the income of a non-earning victim, such as a child, a student or a homemaker.
The Hon’ble Court held that a home maker, especially a house wife spends day in and day out to do the domestic work. She undertakes a plethora of activities which go unrecognised. The court further observed that in rural households, a woman apart from doing other chores also works in the field participating in the sowing, harvesting and transplanting activities and therefore the issue of fixing notional income for a homemaker holds crucial importance in today’s society. It is an appreciation and acknowledgement of the effort of the people who work at home and these further signals towards the improved mind sets and mentality of society in general.
Thus, the Bench opined that the contribution made by a homemaker cannot be neglected especially in regard of the award of compensation to road accident victims involving such people. Taking into account the gendered nature of housework, with an extraordinary number of females being engaged in the same as compared to men, fixing of notional income of a homemaker depending on the facts and circumstances of the case acquires special significance in order to spread constitutional vision of social equality and ensuring dignity to one and all.
The Bombay High Court’s Nagpur Bench comprising of justice Anil S Kilor recently while setting aside a pertinent order passed by MACT, Achalpur, emphasised on the need to give due credit to important role that a homemaker plays in the functioning of a family while computing the compensation payable in the event of the death in a motor accident case.
While rejecting an appeal of petition under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act the court said that “When we talk about a ‘family’, the role of a woman as a ‘housewife’ also known as ‘homemaker’ is the most challenging and important role which role though deserves much appreciation but least appreciated.” The Court also placed reliance on various judgements of the Apex Court like Arun Kumar Agrawal and another v. National Insurance Company Limited and others  and New India Assurance Company Ltd v. Kamla and others  which explained in detailed the pecuniary value, the extent of the ‘services’ of a housewife and how these services must not be undervalued.
STEP TOWARDS SOCIAL EQUALITY
Gender differences have been prevalent in our society since time immemorial. In a general consideration, males spend more time in paid work than women and the converse is true for unpaid work. Men also tend to spend more time on recreational activities than women. This implies that women provide household services but other members of the household just benefit from such services. Thus, recognising and appreciating their hard work and at least fixing a notional income of homemakers for computing compensation in road accident cases, would count as an important step towards achieving the goal of social equality as promised by our constitution.
The idea of fixing notional income for a house maker, serves exceptionally significant functions. According to the findings of a survey nearly 159.85 million people said that “household activities” was their main occupation, as compared to only 5.79 millions of working population and on an average a homemaker spends nearly 134 minutes a day on unpaid unrecognised domestic services for household members, versus 67 minutes spent by other people. Therefore, such a move acts as an acknowledgement of the effort of numerous people engaged in these domestic activities, whether by their own will or as a result of the societal or cultural pressure. It also points at the development of the society at large, that the law and the Courts of the land now recognise the value of the labour, services rendered and sacrifices made by a homemaker. It’s an acceptance of the thought that these activities contribute to the economic condition of the family, and therefore of the state in every possible way no matter that it may have been traditionally been included in the economic surveys of the country. It is a mirrored image of the positive changing mind-sets and attitudes of the citizens of our country as well as of our international law obligations. Andmore notably, it is a step towards the constitutional vision of social equality and ensuring dignity of life to all or an individual.
 CIVIL APPEAL NOS.1920 of 2021 (Special Leave Petition (C) Nos.1872829 of 2018)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.5843 OF 2010(SLP(C) No.19655 of 2004)
 Appeal (civil) 2389 of 2001
‘A Job Less Valued: The Job of a Homemaker’; https://www.thevoiceofwoman.com/a-job-less-valued-the-job-of-a-homemaker/ accessed on 10 January, 2021; 8:39 pm
‘Supreme court holds that fixing notional income for a homemaker is imperative for socialequality’http://www.theindianlawyer.in/blog/2021/01/09/supreme-court-holds-that-fixing-notional-income-for-a-homemaker-is-imperative-for-social-equality/ accessed on 11 January, 2021; 1:55 am
Conception That House Makers Do Not "Work" Or That They Do Not Add Economic Value To The Household Is A Problematic Idea: SC In Motor Vehicle Compensation casehttps://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/supreme-court-homemakers-house-hold-work-economic-value-motor-vehicles-compensation-167981?infinitescroll=1accessed on 11 January, 2021; 2:47 pm