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Pay Russian Housewives For Domestic Work, United Russia Deputy Says

State Duma deputy wants to pay housewives for their labor at home. Alexander Ryumin / TASS

Housewives in Russia should earn a wage for their domestic labor, State Duma deputy Oksana Pushkina has said.

Pushkina’s statement in a Wednesday interview on the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station comes amid growing calls for governments to level the financial inequities traditionally faced by women. Last month, Scotland became the first country to guarantee free menstrual products to all who need them.

“My next legislative initiative is that housework must be paid,” said Pushkina, who is vice chair of the State Duma’s committee on family, women, and children and a member of the ruling United Russia party. 

“This should apply not only to women, but also to male householders,” she added.

Earlier this year, populist lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky tried to push a similar proposal through the State Duma in an effort to address Russia’s flagging birth rate, but budgetary constraints stalled the process. His proposal called for a minimum monthly wage of 12,130 rubles ($160) for one family member if the family's combined income does not exceed the sum of two living wages in the region. 

Pushkina cited a personal example in support of the legislation, saying the mother of her daughter-in-law had had to quit her job after having four children, making her financially dependent on her husband. 

“And now she says to her girls, one of whom is my daughter-in-law: ‘Girls, do not repeat my mistakes’,” Pushkina said. “‘If my husband wants to leave me tomorrow, then I will be left with nothing at all’.”

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