Housewives work many unpaid hours a week, often depending on income from their husband's or partner's employment for financial support.
In societies of hunters and gatherers like the traditional society of the Australian aboriginal people, the men hunt animals for meat, and the women gather other foods such as grain, fruit and vegetables.
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A housewife is a woman whose occupation is running or managing her family's home—caring for her children; buying, cooking, and storing food for the family; buying goods that the family needs in everyday life; housekeeping and maintaining the home; and making clothes for the family—and who is not employed outside the home.
A housewife may also be called a stay-at-home mother and a male homemaker may also be called a stay-at-home father or househusband (if married).
One of the reasons for this division of labor was that it is much easier to look after a baby while gathering fruit than while hunting a fast-moving animal.
Even when homes were very simple and there were few possessions, men and women did different jobs.
Webster's Dictionary describes a housewife as a married woman who is in charge of her household.