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Pay up! Kenyan judge rules being a housewife equates to full-time job

Kenyan High Court judge Teresia Matheka ruled in a divorce case that being a housewife is a full-time job with one radio presenter weighing in that housewives deserve to be paid R50k a month.


Image via Pixabay

Kenyan High Court judge Teresia Matheka ruled on 24 September that being a housewife is a full-time job and therefore needs some form of compensation. The suggested compensation is over R50 000 per month, but unfortunately for South African housewives, this judgment only pertains to Kenya…

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The complainant in the matter was a divorced housewife who desired to sell her family house and have the money split equally between her and her ex-husband. 

Judge Matheka said: “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 care of the children and the family. That spouse will be heard to say that the other one was not employed so they contributed nothing.” 

Matheka also added that raising children is a full-time job that some families pay someone to do. “Hence, for a woman in employment who has to balance childbearing and rearing ths contribution, must be considered,” said Matheka

Passing her judgment on the matter, Matheka ruled that the family house should be sold and the money split equally or one spouse should buy out one half of the property. 


Kamene Goro, presenter at Kiss FM in Nairobi suggested that housewives should be paid salaries for their “services”. Goro suggested an amount of KSh 400 000 which equates to about R54 404. 

She also used the opportunity to discuss her own experience attending to her partner’s every need, sharing that she would run his shower water until it was hot enough for him to hop in, packing his gym back and delivering his lunch to the office. 

“I would wait to pick the containers after he was done eating and only then could I leave for the house. And of course, if he needed some errands done or if I had to go by the supermarket then I’d have to do those before I got back to the house.”

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In 2015, Fin24 reported that United States data science manager Steve Nelms calculated how much it would cost to pay his wife for her services as a stay-at-home mom. He found that it would cost $73 960 which is R1 111 825 a year. 

While this hasn’t been considered in South Africa yet, maybe all it could take is one disgruntled housewife to make it happen.