Cultural differences can lead to poor treatment of workers

“People have histories and their inclination to be in an abusive situation would be determined by that history,” said Dr Sihweil, of the Carbone Clinic in Dubai.

ABU DHABI // There are numerous factors that can lead to aggressive incidents between maids and their employer, a psychiatrist said.

The first factor that could be behind an act of aggression is the personal history and background of a maid or her employer, according to Dr Deema Sihweil, clinical director at The Carbone Clinic of Dubai. “People have histories and their inclination to be in an abusive situation would be determined by that history,” she said. “Background checks [will] determine if there is any history that employers need to be aware of. Secondly, if they have had any major trauma in their lives, or any factors that would contribute to their ability to do their job.

“It is really important that they try to establish a relationship with the caregiver. This cannot really be understood until after several months of getting to know each other.”

Dr Sihweil also said that there were many factors that could lead to violence against a maid by their employer. “A lot of people can feel like they are in a position of power, where they are somehow permitted to treat their workers in an aggressive or hostile way,” she said.

“Culture communication and expectations of boundaries are major issues that can place a great deal of demand on both parties that can manifest in poor treatment of each other or the children.”

ksinclair@thenational.ae

Published: May 18, 2014 04:00 AM

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