The Question-Answer round of the Miss World 2017 pageant.
India’s representative and now Miss World 2017, Manushi Chhillar is asked: "Which profession deserves the highest salary and why?"
I think a mother is of the highest respect. I don’t think its just about cash but love and respect she gives to someone. She is the biggest inspiration in my life. Mother should get the highest respect.Manushi Chhillar, Miss World 2017
That the answer did its magic and helped Manushi get the crown is anybody’s guess.
But it’s given us another reason to talk about the unpaid labour that is motherhood.
Motherhood doesn’t come alone for most women in India, or indeed, around the world. It comes with cooking, cleaning and other housework. All this stress, all this physical and emotional labour, and there is no monetary recognition for it.
Guess what? The work of motherhood, the most noble of all works, is not recognised under the capitalistic system!
The funny thing is that even though motherhood helps prepare kids for the national and international labour market, instead of celebrating it, the system brands it as dull, and provides it with no remunerative benefits.
Findings released by The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development point out that while on an average a woman in India spends five hours or 351.9 minutes a day in unpaid work, Indian men spend just under 51.8 minutes a day. As a corollary, this means that men spend more time at work, doing “paid” labour, while women end up with less time to do so.
The pressure of household chores is even more for mothers with children in the one-to-six year old age group, who spend about 9.4 hours a day doing just that, as IndiaSpend found out in a survey of women in the Udaipur district of Rajasthan.
So yes, while we must celebrate Manushi Chillar for giving India glory, we must equally give a thought to the answer that she gave and finally aim to give motherhood the recognition that it deserves.