Why Housemaids run away from their sponsors in Saudi Arabia?

Housemaids have become one of the most crucial components of the day to day running of most the households in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is safe to say that every family coming in the middle-class to upper-class bracket have at least 1 housemaid employed in their household, whereas there are numerous households that have more housemaids in comparison to members of the family who they have been hired to serve. Keeping the importance of housemaids in the day to day running of the households in mind, we would think it would be safe to say that the housemaids are pampered and cared for with such an extent that they would never want to leave their employment and continue for years to come. Well according to the statistics and numbers which have been retrieved from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we would be wrong to do so.[irp]

In news coming out of Riyadh, the members of the Shoura Council have called upon for an investigation into the causes as to why a total of 86,000 housemaids have run away from their employers and ended their employment. These numbers are huge to analyze as is, however, it is shocking to know that these are not of the last decade but only of the last 1 year. The members of the Shoura Council have added that this is an alarming problem which is creating adverse effects not only for the local economy but also for the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Vice President of the Health Committee, Abdullah Al Otaibi has stated that a special committee should be formed that is tasked with studying files of recruitment and making any recommendations which could help solve the problem.

Some people claim that these housemaids simply run away from their employers for no reason or because they just don’t want to work anymore. There was, however, a local leader of the community who stated that the housemaids do not run away for no reason, but instead choose to do so due to lack of food, mistreatment, and salaries not being paid. This local leader of the community is based in Hail and is helping housemaids who run away from employers.

The members of the Shoura also slammed the performance of the Ministry of Labor which includes the implementation of the employment strategy which had been endorsed by the cabinet around about six years earlier. Fadwa Abu Mureefah has warned about the malpractice of the recruitment file which goes against the Saudi citizens. Mureefah also asked why there is a delay in addressing the problem of recruitment and why there are still problems and obstacles faced by the Kingdom on this issue. She also called for creations of good salaried jobs.[irp]

The records show that even though the labor force in the Kingdom is almost 12 million strong, only 47 percent of them are local Saudis whereas 53 percent of the total labor force is comprised of foreigners from around the world.

Source: Arab News

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