A Beijing divorce court has ordered a man to compensate his wife for housework during their marriage, in a landmark decision for the Asian country.
The woman will receive 50,000 yuan (6,380 euros) for five years of unpaid work.
The case has sparked a huge online debate in China over the value of domestic work, with some saying the amount of compensation is too small.
The decision comes after the introduction of a new civil code in the country.
According to court records, he filed for divorce last year from his wife, whom he married in 2015.
Straight was reluctant to divorce him at first, but later sought financial compensation, arguing that he did not shoulder his duties at home or in caring for their son.
The Beijing Fangshan District Court ruled in her favor and ordered her ex-husband to pay her a monthly allowance of 2,000 yuan (255 euros), as well as a lump sum payment of 50,000 yuan for the household chores she has done to date.
The presiding judge told reporters Monday that splitting a couple's joint property after marriage usually involves sharing tangible assets. “But housework is an intangible asset,” the judge said.
The decision was made in accordance with the new civil code in the country, which entered into force this year. Under the new law, a spouse has the right to claim compensation in divorce if he or she has greater responsibility for raising children, caring for elderly relatives and helping partners at work.
Previously, divorced spouses could only claim such compensation if a prenuptial agreement had been signed – an unusual practice in China.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Chinese women spend almost four hours a day in unpaid work – about 2.5 times more than men.
This figure is higher than the average in OECD countries, where women spend twice as much time as men in unpaid work.
(with information from BBC)