Instagram star with over two million followers sparks fury over 'servants' comments

Instagram star with over two million followers sparks fury over 'servants' comments

When living in the western world, it can sometimes be easy to forget that other countries and cultures have very different norms to us.

However, in a lot of those countries, the rules are gradually changing in order to keep up with more liberal places. This recently happened in Kuwait, where - up until the past couple of months - domestic workers were not permitted to have days off, and their employers could take their passports in order to prevent them from leaving the country.

Now that this law has been changed, though, some people are upset. One woman, an Instagrammer named Sondos Alqattan, felt so angry by the change, that she posted a video of herself ranting about it on social media.

What she probably didn't expect, however, was that her millions of followers would disagree.

In the video, which was posted yesterday, Alqattan expressed her disapproval of the new regulations and implied that allowing her servants to have time off would make it easy for them to abandon her employ.

"How can you have a servant at home who keeps their own passport with them?" she said, adding: "What's worse is they have one day off every week."

She continued: "If they run away and go back to their country, who will refund me?

"Honestly I disagree with this law. I don't want a Filipino maid any more."

Almost immediately, the clip went viral, and hundreds of people posted their responses.

And it's not just social media users that are criticising her, either. Migrante International, a group that advocates for Filipino workers employed overseas, have said that they "vehemently condemn" Alqattan's viewpoints.

"We strongly demand that she offer public apology [sic] and express remorse for her disgusting statements," it said in an online statement. "It would be more valuable if she can visit the Philippines to witness the appalling poverty ... and find out what hardships [they] had to go through before they can be deployed abroad."

Since then, the Insta star has issued a further written statement to clarify some of her earlier comments, but even that isn't much better.

As a result of her statements, several brands have dropped Alqattan as one of their associates.

One of them - Max Factor Arabia - released a statement to say that "Max Factor Arabia is taking this incident very seriously and have immediately suspended all collaborations with Sondos." Another company, M Micallef, have also cut ties with Alqattan, stating that they "deeply regretted" entering a professional relationship with the 'grammer.

The recent change in the law came about as part of an agreement between Kuwait and the Philippines which set out to ensure that Filipino workers - especially those in domestic settings - would have more rights in the workplace. The decision to reach this agreement was spurred by an incident in which 29-year-old Filipino worker Joanna Daniela Demafelis was found murdered in a Kuwait apartment.

Alqattan has not yet released any further statements.