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Few BD women go abroad for employment

Bangladesh, the sixth largest manpower exporting country with a migrant population variously estimated by World Bank at 6.0 million to 7.0 million, is not even in the top 10 Asian countries that send women abroad as expatriate workers, according to a study. The study found China tops the list which included the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and South Korea in accordance with their position in sending female workers abroad. "The labour market integration of women born in Pakistan and in Bangladesh appears to be more difficult with unemployment rates around 15 per cent and participation rates below 40 per cent," noted the study report titled "Labour Migration, Skills and Student Mobility in Asia".

The study report, jointly prepared by the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the International Labour Organization (ILO), highlights the trends and outlook for labour migration in Asia and assesses the labour market requirements for foreign workers. It said migration flows originating from Thailand, the Philippines, Japan and the Republic of Korea consist mainly of women while only a third or less of migrants coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Sri Lanka are women. Globally, a consistently smaller share of migrant women from Asia is observed among the flows than among the stocks of migrants, suggesting that they stay longer on average than their male peers, it added. This seems partly linked with the fact that women are more often found among family migrants who tend to settle in the host country, said the report. The Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) data showed 286,494 Bangladeshi women found overseas employment as of February this year since 1991. Of total employment in over last two decades, the BMET data showed more than two-thirds of Bangladeshi women found jobs in the oil-rich states of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), which also hosted a large number of female workers from East and West Asian countries.

The joint report says a recurring issue concerning female migrants in Asia, particularly in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is that they are often employed in sectors that are not always adequately covered by the legal framework, or are difficult to inspect.
For example, it said 88 per cent of female migrant workers from Sri Lanka are employed as housemaids. This can put them in a vulnerable position with respect to the working conditions or the payment of their wages, it added.

A UN report had earlier recommended making policy discourse more sensitive to the needs of women migrant workers, coordinated regional interventions by sending countries and countries of employment, standard operating procedures for gender sensitive labour migration management and joint response by UN agencies and intergovernmental bodies.

The joint report, however, said there are now 111 million migrant women in the world, 25 million more than in 2000.
It said the number of migrant women in Asia has increased by 6 million over the period, from 23 million to 29 million, while the number of migrant men has increased by almost 50%, from 28 million to 41 million which includes nearly nine million non-resident Bangladeshis, who are living and working over 157 countries.

Fonte: Daily Observer - 12.04.2014

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