Monday, August 08, 2005

EPF for Househusbands

EPF’s (Employees Provident Fund) recent announcement to allow husbands to make contributions for housewives was welcomed by a lot of people, especially the Women’s rights groups. I too think this a good idea and shows that some people have finally recognised the great role that housewives play. My mum is a housewife and she did a great job.

Of course not everybody thinks that it is a great idea. For example, Chanlilian asks, “Do you think that those puny amount of EPF is enough to pay us?”

She also adds, “Don’t burn your poor husband money away doing frivoulous stuffs like buying tupperwares, re-bonding hair, enlarge breasts, tighten down there, slimming centre, buy diamonds so that your girlfriends from primary school can be jealous.”

A vist to any shopping mall in the Klang Valley however, reveals ladies doing exactly that. Finding parking space in One Utama or even Maga Mall is almost impossible, even on weekdays. Most of the shoppers are women (if you don’t count the lepaking kids). One friend once told me that most of these women are girlfriends and mistresses of rich guys, who have nothing to do in the daytime. So they go shopping. I am not really sure as I see a lot of middle class housewives with their kids too.

Anyway, coming back to my topic, there is another group whose voice remains muted and unheard. They ask, “Why only women?”

As we all know, male to female student ratio in most Malaysian universities is highly skewed with ladies even making up more than 70% of the total students in some Universities. The effects are being felt now. The traditional role of the father as a breadwinner has been reversed in many cases with the wife now taking up that role. In fact, many guys now-a-days don’t mind being the homemaker/ home manager (or in other words the househusband).

During the last Asian crisis (1997 – 1998), several of my friends lost their jobs and had to depend on their wives earnings before they could find new jobs. I guess it was not something that they really liked but had no choice. Maybe it was good in a way. It brought families closer, many went back from Kuala Lumpur to their hometowns and several others opened up their own business.

However, I know of several cases where the husband willingly took up the role. A good example is that of guys who gave up their great jobs to accompany their wives who were doing their PhD overseas.

Don’t they deserve their EPF boost too?


5xmom said...

It is going to be a long, long time before our Malaysian males will take up this idea. Househusbands are still no-no here.


Well, its slowly changing right now. As a future married man, I am willing to take on the role of a househusband. I believe in spending quality time for my kids is crucial in their early growing years. Same time, now with the Internet, one is able to do business at home using just a laptop. So I think there is alot of potential for men out there to take on this role. Furthermore, men nowadays have shorter lives, working at home is less stressful i must say, comparing to the daily climbing of the ruthless corporate ladder.. ;) Just my opinion.


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