5:13 pm - Saturday April 18, 7671

BD women ‘shy away’ to work in Saudi Arabia

Despite much enthusiasm, Bangladesh is unable to send female workers as per the demand of Saudi government for various reasons, including conservative attitude of women.

Since the reopening of the labour market in Saudi Arabia in February this year, only Bangladesi muslim women3,000 women have registered with the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) for jobs in Saudi Arabia against the demand for 40,000 workers, reports UNB.

But there is rush of male jobseekers till now, as over 21 lakh male workers have registered for the oversees jobs.

Contacted, Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Engineer Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain told UNB, “The women of Bangladesh are pious. They don’t want to work as servants. More importantly, the wage of women housemaid is less compared to that of other jobs.”

He further said, “Women don’t want to go abroad as housemaids out of shy that their neighbours would call servants working in Saudi Arabia. This is why women are reluctant about going to Saudi Arabia. So a less number of women have registered so far.”

The minister claimed that the government will be able to send more women housemaids if the Saudi government offers higher salary. “And there’s a scope to get registered silently,” he added.

BMET director general Begum Shamsunnahar said, “We’ve received a demand note from the ministry to send 40,000 workers. We’ll send the workers through recruiting agencies.”

On February 1, the Saudi government reopened its manpower market for Bangladeshi jobseekers lifting the ban of long seven years.

On February 10, the government signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia over sending Bangladeshi workers to the Arab nation under 12 categories. The recruitment agencies will bear all the costs of the labourers. As per the agreement a housemaid will be paid 800 Saudi Riyal a month.

BMET sources said the government cannot send women workers also to Hong-Kong despite having a huge demand for.

President of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) Abul Basher said, “Women housemaids are not available as we had sent 60,000 women to various countries for different jobs last year. Besides, there’s a negative image about Saudi Arabia as women housemaids are repressed by the employers there.”

He, however, hoped that many women will be encouraged to go to Saudi Arabia if Bangladesh can send the registered women successfully.