Don’t you hate it when someone feels so entitled? Well, I’m about to give you another reason to roll your eyes towards these people. A few days ago, Kuwaiti influencer Sondos al-Qattan posted a video wherein she ranted about “her country’s new laws aimed at improving conditions for Filipino domestic workers.”
According to Al Jazeera, the new law states that Filipina workers have one day off per week and their employers are no longer allowed to keep their passports.
In the video Sondos said, “How can you have a servant at home who keeps their own passport with the? What’s worse is they have one day off every week.” I’m sorry, how is this bad exactly? From my perspective, it seems like this new law is actually beneficial for Filipino workers.
Sondos also added, “What if they run away and go back to their country? How would I get a refund?” These house helpers are not your slaves, they are human beings who have jobs. Yes, they do work for you but you don’t own them.
After receiving backlash from the Internet, she decided to defend herself. Not apologize but to defend her side. She posted a lengthy statement on Instagram with the caption, “Don’t judge a person without full understanding of the situation. Just because you don’t agree, doesn’t mean that you’re right!”
In the statement she wrote, “The passport of any expat employee should be in the possession of the employer to protect the employer’s interest. Irrelevant of the employee/employer nationality.” That sounds really sketchy and unjust if you ask me. She went on to say that having four days off a month is too much. “Many household employers don’t allow the worker any off-days even if the contract specifies a certain number of off-days. Lady, if it is stated in the contract the the employee have a day off, those should be granted. If not, that’s considered breach of contract.
Sondos might still think she’s right but beauty brand Max Factor disagrees. According to a report on Gulf News, “Max Factor Arabia was shocked by the comments made regarding the new labor law in Kuwait. Max Factor Arabia is taking the incident very seriously and have immediately suspended all collaborations with Sondos.”
London-based brand Chelsea Beautique and French brand M. Micallef have also agreed to stop working with her.
In an interview Sondos tried to defend herself again. “All I said was that the employer was entitled to keep the servant’s passport, and that many Kuwaitis and Gulf nationals agree with me… I have the right as a kafil (sponsor) to keep my employee’s passport.” She added, “[This is not an] insult to the employee, and do not concern humanity or human rights because I did not deprive the employee of her salary or beat her.”
There are so many things wrong with her statement. Sure, she did not beat her employees but not letting them out of the house and keeping their passport makes them seem like objects. You’re keeping them cooped up. They’re people just like you and they deserve these simple things. And now that these are laws, we do hope you abide by them, even if you don’t agree.
Art by Marian Hukom
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