Maids Know Kids Better Than Their Moms Video Campaign Sparks Controversy
In Singapore, there is law stating that all domestic workers should be given a day-off. But according to the statistics form Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME), around 40% of them are not receiving it. This led to the release of the ‘Mums and Maids’ video campaign, which has caused controversy.
Created for Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2), a non-profit organization that aims to improve the conditions for low-wage migrant workers in Singapore, the video campaign shows a set of mothers and their maids being asked separately about some interesting things about the children at home.
As you can see, the answers of the mothers and maids are not the same. In fact, the mothers seemed to be not sure of their answers. Then, the children were asked the same set of questions. Their answers were the same as their maid’s. It is assumed that many maids in Singapore know the kids better than their mothers.
But apparently, this “Mums and Maids” video campaign is not really about parenting. Instead, it is asking the Singaporeans to give a day-off to their domestic workers as stated by the law that took effect in January 2013. This campaign comes in celebration of International Workers’ Day, or Labor Day on May 1.
“O&M (Ogilvy & Mather Singapore) has made a provocative video that will arouse debate. We at TWC2 hope it will contribute to a constructive re-examination of employers’ relationship with their domestic workers,” TWC2 president Noorashikin Abdul Rahman was quoted as saying about the “Mums and Maids” video.
True enough, a lot of Youtube commentators said the video appears to be telling the world that mothers in Singapore don’t really have much time for their children. No one can tell, as not all working mothers will admit that in public. And while assuming that it is true, how it is related to giving the proper day-off to the maids?
The answer is simple; working mothers will have a full day in taking care of their children while the maids are taking their day-off. Records show that one out of five households in Singapore today have a maid or domestic worker. Most of them come from Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines, where they are also called OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers).
And whether this “Mums and Maids” video campaign is exaggerated or not, there are really some maids who know the kids better than their mothers, not only in Singapore but elsewhere around the world. These are mothers (and fathers as well) who are too busy working on their careers and competing with their husbands.
Well, the video did not say if those mothers are single parents or are happily married. But nonetheless, there is no excuse for them to have less time for their children. Note also that most maids have their own family and children whom they left in their home country. And yes, mothers don’t have a day-off. It’s a 24/7 job.
But for all the maids around the world, they truly deserve a day-off. It’s their right as humans like anyone of us. So yes, we at TN think that this video campaign is valid. In fact, it’s like hitting two birds in one stone.