Residents of Qatar are outraged over media reports that 30 Saudi women have had to work in the same “humiliating” conditions that were formerly deemed acceptable only for foreign migrant workers.
The women, ages 20 to 45, arrived in Qatar to be placed with families as maids, earning about $400 per month, slightly more than their mostly Asian and African counterparts.
One maids agency told newspapers that the demand for Saudi women had gone up sharply due to widespread fears that foreign maids practiced magic.
Although Saudi Arabia projects an image of opulent prosperity, problems such as poverty, illiteracy and high unemployment rates persist. The video above is an excerpt from a report on poverty in Saudi Arabia by satellite news channel Al Arabiya.
Qatari psychologist Moza Al Malki told MENAFN he was disappointed that Saudi women were working as maids at a time of economic prosperity for the oil-rich Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia, which has the biggest oil reserves in the world.
"It breaks my heart to know that Saudi women are venturing out to get involved in such a pursuit," he said. "The women will be exposed to all kinds of humiliation."
Still, domestic workers from Asia and Africa have endured similar conditions for years. Qatar, like most Gulf states, is regularly criticized by human-rights organizations and the international media for its treatment of foreign labor, especially domestic workers, who are often treated as virtual slaves by employers who withhold their passports and deny them wages and time off.
Source: The Los Angeles Times