May 26, 2009 · Filed Under English ·
IOM Bangladesh - IOM and the UN’s Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) are holding on 27 May a high-level policy dialogue in the Bangladesh capital, Dhaka, to examine the impact of the global financial crisis on Bangladeshi female migrant workers.
This one-day event will bring together key representatives from the government, national parliament, international organizations, migrant associations, the media as well as civil society representatives with expertise on women’s migration and rights.
With large scale recession-induced job cuts now affecting many Asian and Middle East countries, experts believe female migrant workers are now even more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
“Since migrant women tend to work in the informal, low-skilled and unregulated sectors of the economy, they tend to be more vulnerable to exploitation than men,” says Rabab Fatima, IOM’s Regional Representative in Bangladesh. “The aim of this dialogue is to find practical solutions to address the many challenges that Bangladeshi female migrant workers continue to face abroad.”
Official figures show that more than 20,000 Bangladeshi women, representing 22 per cent of all overseas Bangladeshi workers, travelled abroad in search of employment in 2007.
However, this figure does not reflect the overall number of undocumented female migrants working in South Asia and the Middle East, which is believed to be much higher.
In the Middle East, female migrants from Bangladesh continue to occupy a major share in the domestic service sector
Bangladesh is one of the highest labour sending countries and is among the top ten remittance receiving countries in the world.
In 2008, an estimated 870,000 overseas Bangladeshis sent home more than USD 9 billion.
This event, part of a series of IOM policy dialogues, aims to generate policy and practical measures by the government, civil society and private sector in response to the current economic downturn.