Migrant women workers suffer both at home and abroad

10 Jan 2021 12:14 PM
Image: Collected
Many women who've faced domestic violence decide go work abroad on search of an improved life. Unfortunately, some of these females who had been mistreated by their husbands at home happen to be victims of oppression overseas too.

Many of these ladies have thus fled their workplaces and returned home, bearing physical and mental wounds, some even lifeless. Compared to the previous year, an elevated number of girls have returned home after facing torture as a result of their foreign companies. And after their go back, they face social, economical and other problems.

Sources in the expatriates' welfare and overseas occupation ministry said, 3,164 female migrant employees returned home empty handed in 2019. A lot more than 50,000 girl workers came home this past year after the contacts of the majority of them ended.

Data of the Wage Earner’s Board, too, displays a similar picture. A complete of 695 female employees came house from January to March of last year. Then, almost 50,000 female staff returned home from April to December.

A lot of the women personnel visited Saudi Arabia. Saudi police arrested those that fled from their companies or became illegal. Then they dispatched them to detention camps. If the companies file cases, the workers face jail followed by deportation.

BMET officials said, in the last five years a lot more than 100,000 female workers have gone on career to different countries annually. Some 60 to 70 per cent visited Saudi Arabia. But less women staff went abroad last year because of coronavirus. Some 20,000 female workers went abroad on careers at that time.

Regarding to Bangladeshi Ovhibashi Mohila Sramik Association (BOMSA) and Bangladesh Nari Sramik Kendra (BNSK), because of coronavirus, job pressure and torture possesses increased on female migrants who are domestic help. A lot of women face sexual harassment. They escaped their place of work to return home. Those work at the messes in the towns lost their work at the start of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, two officials of the expatriate ministry said, the scale of torture in migrant housemaids relatively reduced because of talks with the countries worried. But allegations have improved as more women returned within the impact of coronavirus.

Return with symptoms of torture
Migrant worker Tania’s Saudi employer threw her off the roof structure. Her employer even kicked her and broke among her hip and legs. Tania from Kajla in Dhaka came back home 3 years ago. She nonetheless can’t walk. She advised Prothom Alo, she can't afford regular dishes or treatment and received no assistance and she actually is not able to visit the bank for a loan.

Like Tania, many go back home yearly bearing the sign of torture. Generally, they acquire no justice. Some return dead. Based on the migration program of BRAC, 410 feminine workers returned home lifeless from 2016 to 2019, incorporating 153 from Saudi Arabia. Sixty three female migrant workers, including 22 from Saudi Arabia, returned dead in the first nine months of 2020. Of them, 14 women workers, incorporating eight from Saudi Arabia, were thought to have dedicated ‘suicide.’ But victims’ family members suspect they were not suicide.

After looking for seven several months, Mina Begum of Munshiganj discovered that her daughter, Munira Begum allegedly committed suicide in Saudi Arabia. Munira died on 16 February last year whereas her body arrived home previous September. Mother Mina does not believe her child committed suicide. Monira utilized to allege that her employer was not an excellent person, Mina Begum explained.

Executive director of BNSK, Sumaiya Islam, reported punishment of sexual abuse and torture is death on Saudi Arabia. But justice is not done because of its government’s negligence. Imposing tough punishment will reduce crimes. But justice prevails neither in the home nor aboard.

Director general of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) Md Shamsul Alam told Prothom Alo, given that they don’t have control over anything in foreign lands, all issues can’t be settled. However they have allegation of harassing a female worker in the home seriously. Complaints can be lodged at any workplace of the expatriate ministry.

Returning home with mental illness
Farida Khatun returned from Saudi Arabia and Dolly Begum and Ambia Khatun from Jordan, after experiencing mental disease. Like them, many others started searching helplessly after landing on Dhaka airport terminal. Volunteers of BRAC's migration program rescued them and handed them over to their relatives. Government offices have no specific data on migrant personnel returning residence mentally imbalanced. Even so, BRAC stated they rescued 67 mentality challenged migrant workers, incorporating 60 female employees, from Dhaka airport since June 2018 and handed over them with their relatives.

A mentally challenged girl from Sunamganj, returned from Saudi Arabia on 24 September this past year. Her cousin said she is 16 but went aboard by showing an increased age. Six people tortured her actually and sexually each day at her employer’s residence. She shed her memory for half a year. After efforts for many months, she was cut back home by using an acquaintance. She didn’t bear in mind anyone after coming home. Her condition somewhat improved today after treatment.

No income
Previous September, Nazma Akhter of Jhenaidah returned real estate from Jordan. She returned empty-handed despite doing work for 11 a few months. Her company tortured her on a regular basis. She is experiencing head injuries. An area journalist maintained a makeshift place for her to remain. The journalist bought her some daily essentials and medications. Nazma does not have any home or profit. Her partner divorced her and remarried before she proceeded to go abroad. Her husband isn't providing expenses on her behalf two children. She also does not have any idea about rehabilitation loans.

Nazma told Prothom Alo that she is facing intensive hardship with her two kids. Some days ago that they had nothing to consume. If her father and mother were alive she'd not encounter such hardship, she stated. "If I had house, I would manage function to feed my two kids. Now I cannot live nor die."