Can I ask my FDW to clean my windows? I live on the 10th floor.
Can cleaning windows be justly considered a domestic chore?
Perhaps yes, perhaps no.
But is it worth arguing if one outcome of this obsession with clean windows may be the death of a young woman in the prime of her life? On August 3, 1999, The Straits Times reported "Maid falls 13 floors and dies".
On June 26, 2001 the same paper a photo submitted by a Singaporean woman showing a maid precariously perched on the window sill six storeys above the ground. A fall from the 3rd storey will certainly kill. A fall from the 2nd storey may not always lead to death, but it may incapacitate the victim for the rest of her life.
The very next day, the same newspaper reported that a maid had fallen 7 floors and miraculously lived. The question is: for how long will she continue to live (and suffer!)
MOM requires an employer to provide a safe working environment. A situation where a foreign domestic helper may plunge to her death certainly does qualify as a safe environment.