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As foot binding became common after the Song Dynasty, many women lost the ability to work outside.
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.
Regarding family size, a study of three Mexican cities done in 1991 came to the conclusion that there was no significant difference in the number of children in "housewife families" compared to those families with women who worked outside the home.
A research based on 7733 respondents who were aged 18–65 and legally married women in 20 European countries showed men and women share less housework in countries public support gender equality.
In societies of hunters and gatherers, like the traditional society of the Australian aboriginal people, the men often hunt 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.In imperial China (excluding periods of the Tang dynasty), women were bound to homemaking by the doctrines of Confucianism and cultural norms.Generally, girls did not attend school and, therefore, spent the day doing household chores with their mothers and female relatives (for example, cooking and cleaning).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.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.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.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".