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article imageSaudi women object to import of Moroccan maids as too beautiful

By Katerina Nikolas     Sep 14, 2011 in World
Women in Saudi Arabia have innundated the government with complaints over plans to import Moroccan women as housemaids. The reason: Moroccan women are just too beautiful and may lure the Saudi husbands away.
It is a relatively rare event when the voices of Saudi women are heard in protest. This year there have been notable exceptions as some women protested for the right to drive, whilst others demanded the right to vote. Now they have another common cause as they put their foot down against plans to bring female domestic maids from Morocco into the Kingdom.
According to Emirates 24 the Shura Council was “deluged by demands from Saudi women” to suspend the plans. Considering that Saudi households have been desperate for new maids since the government issued a ban effective from Aug. 1 on any new domestic workers from Indonesia and the Philippines, the refusal to accept Moroccan workers at first appears odd.
However it turns out that Moroccan women are considered too beautiful and may lure the Saudi husbands away from their wives. Emirates 247 says some of the Saudi complaints were “Moroccan women are so attractive that their husbands could easily fall for them.” Other stated concerns were “Moroccans are good at magic and sorcery and that this could enable them to lure their husbands.” In a country where adultery is punishable by stoning to death, Saudi women are exhibiting signs of great insecurity.
The Saudi government promised the people that it would recruit more workers from different countries to make up for the loss of Indonesians and Filipinos. It plans to extend its recruitment drive to Ethiopia, Mali, Nepal, Kenya and Eritrea. Last week Arab News reported that Saudi citizens would be given visas to give to bring housemaids from Morocco, as there is no recruitment bureaus established there as yet.
The ban on maids from Indonesia and the Philippines hit Saudi households hard, causing many to resort to hiring illegal maids over Ramadan. The Saudis are reliant on foreign workers to perform their household tasks for them and very few Saudi women will work in such menial positions despite high unemployment, as they would be looked down on by other Saudis.
The ban came into effect following the two countries attempts to introduce regulations for the work conditions of their nationals. Trade Arabia said both countries demanded better working conditions for their employees. Saudi walked away from the negotiations abruptly and decided to look for domestic employees from countries not as concerned about imposing regulations to protect their workers. It also became clear that lower rates of pay could be offered to other nationals.
Saudi Arabia is still smarting over criticisms of the beheading of Indonesian maid Royati Sabotti in June, which came to international attention. Since then both the Indonesian and Sri Lankan governments have intervened to arrange payments of blood money to free housemaids from their countries that were facing the death penalty by execution.
More about Saudi women object to Moroccan maids, Moroccan women too beautiful, Saudi women refuse Moroccan maids, Saudi arabia, housemaids in Saudi
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