The Hidden Lives of “Housegirls”

The abuse of women is a discussion that’s constantly had but often downplayed. And Black women, in particular, tend to be the number one victims. As someone who refuses to ignore the realities of this world, I want to share a few documentaries on African women who work as domestic servants. They are called “Housegirls.”

The Hidden Lives of Housegirls and Maid in Hell are two documentaries that highlight what happens to many domestic workers behind closed doors. Thousands of African women leave their homes to find jobs as housegirls, but many of them are overworked, underpaid, and physically/sexually/emotionally abused. When you’re impoverished with little education, sometimes your options are limited. And under the system, foreign maids are legally bound to their employer and have limited rights.

Many African countries have banned the recruitment of domestic workers to foreign countries like the Middle East, but lots of young women still depend on this type of work throughout the continent. I wish I knew what I could do personally to help these women, and feeling like my hands are tied made these films hard to watch. If you’re aware of any organizations that are tackling this issue, feel free to comment below. And after you finish watching, suppress your complaints and be grateful for what you have, because many are going through Hell just to have a little.

Until Next Time…

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