Beauty Blogger Fired After Saying ‘Servants’ Shouldn’t Be Allowed Days Off

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A beauty blogger, who came under fire after complaining about changes to Kuwait’s law – which now gives Filipino migrant workers the right to days off – has been fired.

Kuwaiti makeup guru, Sondos Alqattan, boasts 2.3 million followers on Instagram but managed to alienate a great deal of them thanks to her recent unsavoury comments.

Max Factor Arabia, who represented Alqattan said they’d immediately suspended all collaborations with the blogger.

They said in a statement to The National:

Max Factor Arabia was shocked by the comments made by the influencer Sondos AlQattan. Sondos’ comments are personal and do not represent either the values or the principles that Max Factor Arabia stands for. Max Factor stands for women’s empowerment and supporting every woman to express her individuality, irrespective of ethnicity and occupation.

Max Factor Arabia is taking this incident very seriously and have immediately suspended all collaborations with Sondos.

Reforms introduced in May aim to protect the rights of Filipino domestic workers.

Back in February, the Philippines issued a temporary ban on the deployment of overseas workers to Kuwait following the discovery of 29-year-od Filipino worker Joanna Daniela Demafelis’ mutilated body in the freezer of an abandoned apartment.

Tensions grew in April when the Philippine ministry of foreign affairs released a video showing officials rescuing citizens from Kuwaiti employers accused of abuse.

As a result, Kuwait expelled the Filipino ambassador, Renato Villa. President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte then asked the estimated 276,000 Filipino workers in Kuwait to return home, even offering free flights for the some 10,000 who had overstayed their visas.

Eventually, the two nations signed an agreement in May to improve labour rights for OFWs thanks to Philippine authorities demanding Kuwaiti recruitment offices pay a £7,600 deposit to compensate workers whose salaries had been withheld or contracts terminated, according to The Guardian.

Anyhow, long story short, Alqattan hates this notion.

She said:

The new laws that have been passed are pathetic. Honestly, I disagree.

For [a maid] to take a day off every week, that’s four days a month. Those are the days that she’ll be out. And we don’t know what she’ll be doing on those days, with her passport on her.

How can you have a servant at home who gets to keep their passport with them? If they ran away and went back to their country, who’ll refund me? I don’t want a Filipino maid anymore.

Social media users objected against her comments, with one saying:

116.3k followers wow. For me sharing a faith with you is embarrassing and humiliating. being associated to women like you through faith is insulting. Perhaps less focus on your makeup selfies and like a barbie doll and more on being human.

Another said:

Sondos Alqattan you’re a terrible human being. you don’t own a filipino domestic helper no matter how much you pay for his/her service. you don’t have any right to hold his/her passport, or to make them feel bad about having a day off. shut up and stick to your petty endeavours.

Out of Kuwait’s 4 million-strong population, around 660,000 are domestic migrant workers. Thanks to the country’s ‘kafala’ system, which human rights groups say enables exploitation and forced labour; labor coerced under the threat of penalty, and not offered voluntarily by the worker.

In the migration context, it is a way for governments to delegate oversight and responsibility for migrants to private citizens or companies,’ Migrant Rights says. ’The system gives sponsors a set of legal abilities to control workers: without the employer’s permission, workers cannot change jobs, quit jobs, or leave the country.’

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