We all have our dreams and our personal stories. Dreams guide us through rough times, while our stories make us who we are. In Hong Kong, there is a particular group of women with dreams and stories.
They are foreign domestic helpers hailing from Indonesia and the Philippines. An estimated 320,000 women come every year to find work in Hong Kong, far away from their hometowns and families. But no one seems to listen to their stories, or to encourage them to follow their dreams.Put yourself in their shoes and imagine. How would you feel?
In 2013, domestic helpers accounted for 3% of the population. But despite being a landmark in the country’s social life and a backbone of the economy, helpers are still seen as a separate group, belonging to a lower social status. This deep-rooted social exclusion, which is largely ignored, has dramatic implications for notions of equality and human dignity. Helpers’ voices are rarely heard, if not absent, from the public debate. While some face unfair treatment in the workplace and very difficult working conditions, their experiences are largely neglected by the public.
Erwiana Sulistyaningsih’s story is a case in point. A foreign domestic helper who used to work in Hong Kong, Eewiana was treated like a slave for years by her employer. The young woman suffered daily torture, working 21 hours days behind closed doors. The status of foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong poses important challenges to gender equality. This is all the more the case in 2016, as migration patterns have become increasingly feminised, and female labour rights remain fragile. This inequality, and the belief that things need to change.
This is the exact situation happening in Hong Kong. I hope through this news article, more people can learn about their situation and would not look down on them instead respect them for their courage to come to work in other country. I hope one day the situation can be improved and would be able to pursue their own dream and aspiration. #hongkong #domesticworkers #feminist