Africa

Kenyan court declares being housewife a full-time job

Kenyan women who are housewives have had a shot in the arm as a High Court has ruled that they consider themselves employed.

Teresia Matheka who presided over a matrimonial property dispute said it is unfair to belittle the contribution of housewives to the progress of the family.

In her view, housewives offer full-time services at home and should not regard themselves as jobless, just on the basis that they do not necessarily bring money home.

She entreated colleague judges not to lose sight of the trouble of carrying a pregnancy for nine months when making pronouncements on marital disputes brought before them.

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“It is easy for the spouse working away from home and sending money to lay claim to the whole property purchased and developed with that money by the spouse staying at home and taking of the children and the family. That spouse will be heard saying that the other one was not employed so they did not contribute anything.

“Raising children is a full-time job that families pay a person to do as well as cooking and cleaning. Hence, for a woman in employment who has to balance childbearing and rearing this contribution must be considered,” she said.

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Justice Matheka was reading her ruling in a case where a divorced lady sought to have their family property sold and the money shared equally between her and her ex-husband.

Having established her opinion, she proceeded to rule that the property be either sold and money shared equally or one of the spouses owns the property by paying half its value to the other.

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