Will you eat pork? Details of domestic workers on public display raise discrimination concerns

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Hong Kong Free Press

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While meeting someone for a research interview last week, I found myself outside an agent for Foreign Domestic Workers (FDW). The window was full of the details of women for prospective employers to browse. I was surprised to see how many of the details of the potential FDWs were on public display. These details included photographs, home addresses, date of birth, previous employers, and religion.

Of further interest was the fact that the women whose domestic services were being advertised also had a list of criteria that they were willing or able to do. These included items like:

-Will you work with pets?

-Can you use electric appliances?

-Are you willing to follow the rule of discipline (one for all the Foucault lovers)?

But what really caught my eye were the questions pertaining to pork. Are you willing to cook pork? Are you willing to eat pork? Many of the women (all of whom were listed as Muslim) had ticked the box that they were willing to eat pork. I have previously written about the compromises that Indonesian FDWs often make in order to please their employers and complete their contracts. Halal food practices are often sacrificed as a way to gain employment and pay off debt.

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Recommended Citation

O'Connor, P. (2016, May 11). Will you eat pork? Details of domestic workers on public display raise discrimination concerns. Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved from https://www.hongkongfp.com/2016/05/11/will-you-cook-pork-details-of-domestic-workers-on-public-display-raise-discrimination-concerns/