It is claimed that the rate of housemaids running away from their sponsors usually increases as the holy month of Ramadan approaches.
They escape as they are often able to command larger salaries of around SR2,500 per month, particularly because many Saudi families find it difficult to manage without a house help during the fasting month.
Hugh Tomlinson of the The Times, however, has a different view:
The number of runaways will soar in the coming days as Ramadan begins. Working hours can double because the maids must prepare the feast that follows sunset on the top of their daily chores. The women may have only two or three hours sleep a night for the entire month. (page 4 of Sat, august 7 paper edition)
Since many families withhold passports of their maids, I find it a bit hard to believe that domestic helpers would run away and be separated from their travel documents for the lure of a few Ryals more.
Let's keep in mind that one of the reasons fasting had been ordained on Muslims is because it teaches empathy and human camaraderie with the poor and the deprived.
Ramadan Mubarak everyone.