The migration of female workers from Bangladesh has increased by around 430 percent in last eight years as the government has been exploring new destinations and opportunities for its female workforce.
The number of female migration for overseas jobs, especially to Middle East countries has jumped to 118,088 in 2016 from 22,224 in 2009, according to the data of state-owned Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET).
A total of 27,706 female workers migrated to different countries in 2010 while the number was 30,579 in 2011, 37,304 in 2012, 76,007 in 2013 and 103,718 in 2015. Some 73,000 female workers migrated in 2017 up to July.The migration cost, including airfare are borne by the employers.
BMET Director Dr Nurul Islam told daily sun that migration of female workers increased significantly after Saudi Arabia in 2015 lifted the five-year ban on recruiting workers from Bangladesh.
“Majority of our female workers are employed in Saudi Arabia. Bangladeshi female workers are also working in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Malaysia, Singapore, UK, Italy, Hong Kong, Cyprus and other countries,” he added.
Majority of the Bangladeshi female workers are engaged in household and cleaning jobs while those in Jordan are now working in the garment sector as well, the BMET Director said.
He also informed that the female migrant workers in the Gulf states and other Middle East countries are getting paid Tk 18,000-20,000 a month. But the pay in Hong Kong and Jordan are between Tk 55,000 and 65,000 per month.
“Bangladeshi female workers are now working in around 20 countries and we are still exploring new labour markets for our aspirant migrants,” Dr Nurul Islam said.
Migration expert Dr Tasneem Siddiqui said the number of female migrant workers in increasing every year as an outcome of the government’s efforts to expand the labour migration sector.
“But the government must ensure the security of the female workers so that their dignity is protected,” she added.