A man has been ordered by a divorce court in China to pay his wife 50,000 yuan (about P377,029) for five years of unpaid housework, an amount that some Chinese argued in social media is but a pittance compared to the value of unpaid domestic work.
The man, identified with the surname Chen, reportedly filed for divorce last year from his wife, surnamed Wang. They were married in 2015.
Wang, initially reluctant to proceed with the divorce, then asked for financial compensation saying that her husband did not do any housework or childcare for their son. The woman demanded $24,700 in restitution.
In a report by the China National Radio, it was noted that “apart from going to work, Mr. Chen did not care about or participated in any other kind of domestic activity.”
Aside from the lump sum compensation of 50,000 yuan (which amounts to P6,280 per month for five years), Beijing’s Fangshan court also ordered the man to pay a monthly alimony of 2,000 yuan (P15,000) to the woman.
The court also awarded Wang custody of their son.
Though divorce usually entails splitting tangible assets between, the judge told the media after the case that “housework constitutes intangible property value.”
The ruling also comes after a new civil code came into effect this year in China. Before the new law, spouses can only seek compensation if spouses signed a prenuptial agreement, which was rarely done.
Though the decision is considered a landmark ruling, it sparked heated debate on Chinese social media as some pointed out that the 50,000 yuan was too little for five years of household work, while some pointed out that men should do more household duties now.