Woman and child on bike in Beijing
Woman and child on bike in Beijing
AFP via Getty Images

A Beijing divorce court has ruled a man must pay his estranged wife £5,400 ($7,700) for all the housework done throughout their five-year marriage.

The wife, identified by his last name Wang, will also be paid in £212 ($300) in alimony a month, following the landmark case.

She told Fangshan District Court that her estranged husband “didn’t care about or participate in any kind of chores”.

It is the first such ruling under China’s new civil code, which lets people seek payments for traditionally unpaid work, such as cleaning and childcare.

According to the South China Morning Post, the couple married in 2015 and seperated in 2018. They filed for divorce last year 2020.

Read more:11 things that make divorce more likely

A divorce lawyer told the paper that the compensation payment was too low.

Zhong Wen, an attorney practising in Sichuan province, said: “Those who do housework are devalued in a marriage, with the most obvious effect being their survival skills in society and their professional skills will probably decrease.”

According to Insider, divorce is actively discouraged by the Chinese government with laws that require “a 30-day cooling-off period”.

In 2017 some registration offices made couples fill out a questionnaire, denying divorces to those who scored too highly.

Women in China are believed to do four hours a day of unpaid labour, while men engage in one and half hours a day.

Read more: How to cope with a breakup during the pandemic

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