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A housewife (also known as a homemaker) is a woman whose work is running or managing her family's homecaring 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 familyand who is not employed outside the home (a career woman). A housewife who has children may be called a stay-at-home mother or mom. Webster's Dictionary defines a housewife as a married woman who is in charge of her household. The British Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary (1901) defines a housewife as 'the mistress of a household, a female domestic manager, a pocket sewing kit'. (A small sewing kit is sometimes called a huswif, :115 housewife or hussif. ) Sociology and economics Some feminists 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. = Traditional societies =In societies of hunters and gatherers, like the traditional society of the Australian aboriginal people, the men often hunted animals for meat while the women gather other foods such as grain, fruit and vegetables. One of the reasons for this division of labor is that it is much easier to look after a baby while gathering food than while hunting a fast-moving animal. Even when homes were very simple, and there were few possessions to maintain, men and women did different jobs. In rural societies where the main source of work is farming, women have also taken care of gardens and animals around the house, generally helping men with heavy work when a job needed to be done quickly, usually because of the season. Examples of the heavy work involving farming that a traditional housewife in a rural society would do are:Picking fruit when it is ripe for marketPlanting rice in a paddy fieldHarvesting and stacking grainCutting hay for animalsIn rural studies, the word housewife is occasionally used as a term for 'a woman who does the majority of the chores within a farm's compound', as opposed to field and livestock work.. Whether the productive contributions of women were considered 'work' varied by time and culture.
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