Voices Of Youth

Don't treat maids as just tools

There are many organisations in place to support the 200,000 domestic helpers in Singapore (Lessons in life and love from our domestic helper; April 9).

The problem lies with the employers.

Singaporean employers tend to stereotype maids as uneducated people who are fortunate to find jobs in Singapore, and who should therefore be grateful.

This explains why they expect the helpers to be totally obedient, to the point of enduring inhumane treatment.

Measures to help maids protect themselves will not be effective unless people realise what the real problem is - the objectification of domestic helpers.

Indeed, employers should not view their helpers as merely working tools.

These helpers are human too, and deserve to be appreciated too. Some of them have big and beautiful dreams, and being a domestic helper is just a stepping stone for them.

Wang Yihan, 16, Secondary 4 student


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2017, with the headline 'Don't treat maids as just tools'. Print Edition | Subscribe