Sunday, June 3, 2007
Forcing Maids to Wear the Veil
I never once considered getting a non-Muslim maid. I think it causes many issues for a non-Muslim maid to work in a Muslim house...especially one with children. One of these issues, although one that I don't think is important enough to write an article about, is with covering in public. This is an issue for most, if not ALL, female ex-pats who come to live/work here as it is for for housekeepers.
Although I've never insisted that my Indonesian housekeeper wear a face-veil in public, we did buy an abaya for her after her arrival in Al-Hassa; a very functional on-the-shoulder one similar to my daughter's. Although I have seen some maids in public without them, they really catch my attention because they stick out. This, in itself, is reason enough for maids to wear abayas in public, in my opinion. My housekeeper already wears a headscarf of her own accord, even around the house since my husband and other males are here and she is a practicing Muslim woman.
Is it so strange to expect an abaya and headscarf to be part of a 'uniform' that maids in Saudia must wear? I had a worse uniform at the first job I worked at as a teenager and I'm sure many of my readers have uniform horror stories of their own:) Why should it be an issue? Couldn't we just chalk it up to being 'part of the job'? After all, they don't need to come here to work, they're all given choices of what country they want to work in before they leave.