Woman awarded over £5,000 for five years of housework in landmark China divorce ruling

24 February 2021, 11:00

A wife in China was awarded cash for years of housework in a landmark ruling
A wife in China was awarded cash for years of housework in a landmark ruling. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

A Chinese court has ordered a man to pay thousands to his ex-wife for housework she completed during their five-year marriage in a landmark case in the country.

China's state-run national radio reported that the woman had demanded over £17,000 from her husband in the divorce case after being made to take care of the couple's child and do the housework alone as the husband "barely cared about or participated in" any kind of chores.

According to court records, the man, Chen, filed for divorce last year from his wife, Wang, after they were married in 2015.

As part of the settlement, the court ordered the husband to pay £5,443 for five years' work as "housework compensation," and split their property equally. Wang was awarded custody of the couple's son.

Chen was also told he must make child support payments of around 2,000 yuan per month (around £200).

Since January, under China's recently imposed civil code, a spouse can seek compensation from their partner during divorce for taking more responsibility in caring for children and elderly relatives.

The ruling went viral on Chinese social media site Weibo, splitting opinion, with some saying the ruling is a recognition of the hard work undertaken by full-time mothers and others saying the payout wasn't enough.