Kuwaiti social media influencer has refused to apologise or back down from her comments about the rights of Filipina domestic workers
Content creators from the UAE and around the Arabian Gulf have condemned social media influencer Sondos Al Qattan’s controversial criticism of Kuwaiti legislation designed to protect the rights of Filipina domestic workers.
Among those to criticise Qattan’s comments was Royal Highness Sheikha Noor, a Bahraini princess, entrepreneur and designer.
“Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity,” she told Arabian Business sister publication ITP Live.
“I just want a one-day break end of the week to get my energy back. I think my personal helper at home needs to have a day off. I really don’t understand how people think.”
Enjy Kiwan, a UAE-based health and wellness influencer, said that although she disagreed with Qattan’s statement she believes “everyone has the right to their own opinion.”
“I have help, and we are blessed in this part of the world to be able to have that and we owe so much to them, be it taking care of our children when we are at work, house duties, cooking and so much more,” she said.
“Where I come from they are part of our family and deserve so much more than counting the number of rest hours or days off.”
Talal Al Rashed, a UAE-based Kuwait travel and food influencer, said that the debate sparked by Qattan’s comments “is healthy, and it shows how people are different when it comes to human rights and labour laws, and how some need some enlightenment.”
“I suggest Sondos tries working full-time in the service industry, say in a restaurant, a hotel or even at her own house, for one year, but without taking a weekly day off,” he added. ‘I’d be curious to know her opinion after such an experience. I’m sure it will be slightly different.”
A number of brands have cut ties with Qattan in the wake of widespread public backlash over a July 10 video in which she criticised Kuwaiti rules that give Filipina domestic workers one day off a week and forbids employers from retaining their passports.
Qattan, however, has refused to back down from her comments, and has instead hit back at her detractors and said they are part of a foreign media campaign against Kuwait, the Hijab and Islam.