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A housewife (also known as a homekeeper) is a woman whose work is running or managing her family's home—caring for her children; buying, cooking, and storing food for the family; buying goods that the family needs for everyday life; housekeeping, cleaning and maintaining the home; and making, buying and/or mending clothes for the family—and who is not employed outside the home (a career woman).and a househusband may be called a male homemaker or stay-at-home father.
In a traditional Hindu family, the head of the family is the Griha Swami (Lord of the House) and his wife is the Griha Swamini (Lady of the House).
The Sanskrit words Grihast and Grihasta perhaps come closest to describing the entire gamut of activities and roles undertaken by the homemaker.
The traditional status of a woman as a homemaker anchors them in society and provides meaning to their activities within the social, religious, political and economic framework of their world.
However, as India undergoes modernisation, many women are in employment, particularly in the larger cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore where most women will work.
The woman who increments the family tree (bears children) and protects those children is described as the Grihalakshmi (the wealth of the house) and Grihashoba (the glory of the house).
The elders of the family are known as Grihshreshta.
The husband or wife may engage in countless other activities which may be social, religious, political or economic in nature for the ultimate welfare of the family and society.
However, their unified status as joint householders is the nucleus from within which they operate in society.
and non-feminist economists (particularly proponents of historical materialism, the methodological approach of Marxist historiography) note that the value of housewives' work is ignored in standard formulations of economic output, such as GDP or employment figures.
A housewife typically works many unpaid hours a week and often depends on income from her husband's work for financial support.