a year ago

80,000 female Bangladeshi expatriates hired in 2021

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More than 80,000 Bangladeshi women workers found overseas jobs in the past one year, contributing to the job sector and remittance income back home.

Statistics available with the manpower bureau show 80,143 women went abroad with jobs in 2021.

Of them, the highest 53,082 or about 55 per cent were hired by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

According to sector insiders and experts, female migration dropped drastically in 2020.

Countries like Jordan hired 13,643 workers, Oman 10,035, Qatar 1,997 and the United Arab Emirates 777.

The demand for women workers in the Gulf nations has increased in recent months with Saudi Arabia being the biggest importer of Bangladeshi female labour.

Manpower recruiters said the Saudi employment of female labour remained halted for a certain period in 2020 following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

So, the number of the Saudi-bound workers declined to 12,735 in the entire calendar year 2020.

Such downtrend in Saudi recruitment impacted the overall count of women overseas jobs last year. The sector could send only 21,934 female workers in 2020.

Manpower recruiters expect an uptrend in female migration and more than 0.1 million this year.

Migrant rights activists, however, call for ensuring safe migration as the pandemic makes them vulnerable in the workplace.

Sumaiya Islam, executive director of Bangladesh Nari Sramik Kendra, says the workload of women domestic helps has increased manifold during Covid-19.

Some women, interviewed by her agency, stated that employers were not bearing their basic medicare costs.

Even workers could not access cellphone properly.

Ms Sumaiya exhorts the authorities concerned to make sure the safety of women at job destination countries.

She emphasises necessary skills training as well as post-departure orientation of female migrants. More than 1.0-million Bangladeshi women have gone abroad with jobs since 1991, according to BMET data.

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