Political parties promised a range of sops in this summer’s assembly elections—and the one that caught much attention and triggered a compelling debate was by debutant politician Kamal Haasan and a few parties in Kerala. This is about paying salary to homemakers for their work. Should they get paid, or not? Bhavna Vij-Aurora interviewed Union minister for women and child development Smriti Irani for her views. Irani asks a pertinent question to make her point: Can and should the State assign monetary value to an invaluable relationship between mother and child or for that matter a husband and wife? Instead, we need to enhance our engagement to ensure women get equal opportunities to be skilled and get educated and should they choose to be self-employed women, they should have access to financial credit to accomplish their entrepreneurial ambitions, the minister says. Excerpts
The assembly elections kicked off an important debate whether homemakers should be given salary for the work they do. What is your view on it?