An Ethiopian maid was murdered by her employer on Tuesday. The man beat her for over a week because she allegedly refused to work, and her injuries were so severe that she suffered from internal bleeding. She collapsed after arguing with the man while he attempted to “return” her to the recruitment office.
The conception of maids as disposable units of labor sanctions their inhumane treatment. Murder itself may not be normalized, but the attitudes and “casual”abuses that escalate into such violent behavior do seem to be tolerated. The absence of legal protections for domestic workers positions them in an even more vulnerable position. The reports of violence towards domestic workers that resurface weekly demonstrate that this case involves much more than a single unscrupulous man; Just last week, a sponsor broke the nose of an Ethiopian maid. Three weeks earlier, an Indonesian maid committed suicide after absconding from an abusive employer.
The attention paid to these cases by Gulf media outlets is a significant step forward in
acknowledging and ultimately correcting human rights abuses. The more these stories are featured, the more that the apathy and the unintended tolerance of these crimes are overpowered - and eventually, the less horrifying stories there exist to be told.