Domestic workers in Kuwait are a big part of our lifestyle. I have always heard my family, friends and colleagues say they really need a domestic worker to assist the household in Ramadan. Some will even allow their domestic workers to go on holiday early, just as long as they come back for Ramadan. Ramadan is a great time to connect with the family and enjoy food, and this means large family gatherings with feasts. This also means more work or different work schedules for our household helpers.
I hope you understand that some domestic helpers aren’t Muslim, and therefore would like to eat during the day. Please understand that there is no law that forces them to fast indoors and it is their right to choose whether to fast or not, regardless of their religion. If you do not want to see them eat or smell the aroma of food, because you may feel weak while fasting, please provide them with a safe non-judgmental space where they can eat.
Keep in mind that some are Muslim and would like to fast and pray; therefore, please reduce their hours so they are able to do so. The working hours of employees in the private sector are reduced by law from eight hours to six a day. Those of you who fast and have a desk job like me will understand why this law might have come into effect – it is really hard to muster energy, even mentally in Ramadan, when you are detoxing your body. So can you imagine how difficult it must be for domestic helpers, who might have to cook, iron, carry goods, clean, etc? So be considerate, and reduce their hours also.
I wish you and your families a blissful Ramadan. Please be kind and considerate to others regardless of their religious beliefs, and please also realize that we do not have to follow laws to be kind – we can choose to be kind ourselves. Ramadan Mubarak!
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By Attorney Fajer Ahmed