An Ode to Altruism: How Indian Courts Value Unpaid Domestic Work

Economic & Political Weekly September 4, 2021 vol lVi no 36 pp. 45-52

King's College London Law School Research Paper Forthcoming

8 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2021

See all articles by Prabha Kotiswaran

Prabha Kotiswaran

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law

Date Written: September 4, 2021

Abstract

Feminists have demonstrated how the invisibility and lack of recognition of unpaid domestic and care work result in gender inequality and women’s disempowerment. Discussions of the role of law in reinforcing this invisibility is limited and focused on family law. This paper shall look at tort law, namely a review of compensation awarded to the dependents of homemakers, between 1968 and 2019, under the Indian Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The growing recognition of women’s UDCW by Indian appellate courts, culminating in an influential Supreme Court decision in 2010, is traced. This “wages for housework” jurisprudence is then marshalled to probe the redistributive function of tort law.

Keywords: wages for housework, India, tort law, unpaid work

Suggested Citation

Kotiswaran, Prabha, An Ode to Altruism: How Indian Courts Value Unpaid Domestic Work (September 4, 2021). Economic & Political Weekly September 4, 2021 vol lVi no 36 pp. 45-52, King's College London Law School Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3941327

Prabha Kotiswaran (Contact Author)

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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