The women migration from Bangladesh has ballooned by 217 per cent in last five years as some new destinations have been opened up for their overseas earnings, insiders said.
The state-owned Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) showed that the migration of the females for the overseas job has swelled up to 118,088 in 2016 from that of only 37,304 in 2012.
The Middle Eastern country Jordan is the top Bangladeshi worker recruiter over the last five years, followed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Lebanon and Qatar.
According to the BMET, Jordan recruited 97,424, Saudi Arabia 89,902, the UAE 72,594, Oman 51,631, Lebanon 46,468, and Qatar 22,582 Bangladeshi female workers from 2012 to 2016.
Officials and experts said although the migration of the Bangladesh's female workers was very poor in numbers five years ago, it has jumped remarkably in recent years.
According to the BMET, the female migration for the overseas jobs in 2012 calendar year was only 37,304 which started to step rise year-on-year maintaining ballooning growths.
The following year 2013, the numbers of out-bound women workers have surged to 56,400, in 2014 to 76,007, in 2015 to 103,718 and in 2016 to 118,088.
The BMET data showed that between 1991 and 2016, the UAE is the largest Bangladeshi women recruiter as it employed total 122,729 workers, Saudi Arabia 121,735, Jordan 109,948, Lebanon 102,565, Oman 55,403, Qatar 22,713,Mauritius 15,945, Kuwait 7,793, Malaysia 6,562, Bahrain 4,264, Singapore 1,116, and Hong Kong 1,307.
Experts and officials said the out-bound Bangladeshi women workers are mostly employed at the low-paid, hazardous jobs like housekeeping which often put them in vulnerable situation.
There is a good job demand for skilled and professional women, including nurses, caregivers, babysitters, drivers (taxi cab domestic), front desk attendants, receptionists, cashiers, beauticians in parlours, hospitals and shopping malls in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
A UN study on "External Market Analysis for Women Migrant Workers of Bangladesh" showed that around 95 per cent of the Bangladeshi women travel abroad as migrant domestic workers mainly to the Arab countries.
It was also revealed that skilled and semi-skilled workers earn higher salary and enjoy much better living, working and social conditions compared to the illiterate and unskilled workers.
Experts said Bangladesh could tap some Southeast Asian markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong for the women job and earn more remittances.
A BMET director said the women migration has jumped remarkably in last couple of years since the government has taken several initiatives to explore the overseas job opportunities for the Bangladeshi women.
"The government will facilitate the women migration to any country in the world in a bid to boost the country's foreign exchange earnings," he said.
Meanwhile, Bangladeshi Ovibashi Mohila Sramik Association (BOMSA) Director Sumaiya Islam said since the male overseas job-seekers had very little chance for getting job abroad in recent years, they are encouraging their female family members to go abroad with jobs.
She also mentioned some other reasons like low migration cost, cheap labour and growing demand for female domestic help in Middle Eastern (ME) countries for increase in the volume of female workers' migration.
Female workers are now going abroad at the minimum migration cost. For instance, a female worker goes to Jordan at a migration cost of only Tk 10,000.
The BOMSA director said it is a good trend for women employment, but at the same time government should ensure their security.
The migrant rights groups urged the authorities concerned to ensure safety of the workers abroad and also provide proper support when they come back home being victimised.
They also put emphasis on diversified skill for the women migrants so that they can earn more wages and stay secure in foreign countries.
Local experts laid emphasis on sending skilled and semi-skilled women workers abroad to earn more money as well as to ensure their security in the job fields.
Shakirul Islam, chairman of the Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program (OKUP), said private and public sectors should introduce demand-based training and explore such job opportunities to the women in labour-receiving countries.
He also suggested recasting the "Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Policy 2016" for the overall development of out-bound women workers.
BMET Director (Training standard and planning) Nurul Islam said along with domestic helps, they have also a plan to increase sending skilled and professional women as they are in good demand in Europe and the ME and some Asian countries.
"The problem of lack of necessary skill is still hurting the move to send more women abroad. We want to come out of this status gradually," he said.
But the BMET officials said nowadays the government is very sincere in security of female migrants. They are not sending such workers abroad without insurance coverage and ensuring security.
Presently, Bangladeshi female workers are serving in 43 countries. Of them,the maximum number went to the ME countries as housemaids.