A famous Kuwaiti blogger and makeup artist came under fire after branding Kuwait’s reforms to ensure the human rights of Filipino domestic workers “a joke”.
Social media celebrity Sondos Alqattan, who has a whopping Instagram following of 2.3 million, slammed reforms agreed by Kuwait and Manila to secure the rights of Filipino workers after a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
According to the new pact, Filipino workers will be entitled to keep their passports, have a break every five hours during their working day and one day off a week.
“What are these complexities? This film? This joke?” Alqattan said in a video posted on her Instagram account earlier this week.
“There are some rules that have had me shocked. There are some like being able to take a break every five hours — that’s okay.”
“But how can someone have a person working in their homes and their passport is with the worker? If she took her passport and fled, who will reimburse me?” Alqattan added.
She then went on to complain that domestic workers can now have one day off a week:
“What’s worse than this, she’s now entitled to one day off every day. One day! What else now?”
“I don’t want a Filipina housemaid anymore. For her to go out one day in a week? That’s four days in a month”, she added.
“She will only be working six days a week. We have no idea what she will be getting up to on those four days she’s off, especially with her passport on her”.
The video made rounds on social media, sparking anger across the world, highlighting that foreign workers in Kuwait are forced to endure slave-like conditions:
Overseas Filipino workers are seen and treated as mere slaves! We demand a public apology from Sondos Alqattan!— Marc #OustDuterte (@meowista_) July 20, 2018
More so, we demand the END OF LABOR EXPORT as government policy! Provide better opportunities for our countrymen here in our own country— pic.twitter.com/k0K1tGE15R
'A spoiled rich Arab'
While people from 3rd world countries, esp. the are working so hard to make ends meet even sacrificing their own family to work for other people abroad, there are those who are previleged to be born rich and think they are superior and more entitled than others.— che gardose (@taltal42) July 20, 2018
There were calls to boycott her and calls for makeup brands to disassociate themselves from her:
Seeing as Sondos alqattan represents @MaxFactorArabia, does the brand support her appalling statements about domestic workers?— (@hessa_lln) July 20, 2018
I am calling out @ShiseidoUSA @phyto_usa @Bellacontacts @HP @ABHcosmetics and any other brands associated with Ms. Alqattan. How does it feel having someone like, Sondos Alqattan who literally supports Modern Day Slavery, represent you?— Gelo Carter (@GeloCarter) July 21, 2018
@norvina1 hi, huge fan of Anastasia Beverly Hills! I was wondering if you are going to continue to follow/support Sondos Alqattan on instagram after the disgusting remarks she made about her Filipino workers?— (@hannanelamars) July 20, 2018
The agreement that inspired Alqattan's racist rant came about after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte imposed a partial ban on workers travelling to Kuwait.
The ban followed the shocking discovery of the corpse of Filipina maid Joanna Demafelis in a freezer.
Her murder attracted global attention to the alleged mistreatment of domestic workers in Kuwait and condemnation from leading human rights organisations.
Copyright @ 2020 The New Arab.