Women's rights advocates submit memorandum to Expatriates’ Welfare Ministry
Women’s rights advocates staged a demonstration in Dhaka on Tuesday demanding that the government ensure security for Bangladeshi female migrant workers employed in the Middle East countries, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The demonstrators, gathering under the banner “Bangladesh besides the Female Migrant Workers,” also demanded that the government stop sending female workers to Saudi Arabia.
The protest rally took place in front of the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka around 10:30am on Tuesday, where several participants elaborated on various atrocities and irregularities that the Bangladeshi female workers abroad are being subjected to.
Speakers said although Bangladeshi female workers abroad, especially the Middle East countries like Saudi Arabia, are subjected to physical and sexual assault, the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment has yet to take any measure in this regard.
Not only that, but the ministry is also blaming the returning women workers for the atrocities and irregularities they suffered while working, particularly in Saudi Arabia, the protesters said.
They also accused the Bangladesh embassies abroad of not paying any heed to the female workers as they sought help and support in the face of physical and sexual abuse by their foreign employers.
The protesters later brought out a procession that marched towards the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, where a few of the protesters went in and submitted a memorandum stating 13 demands.
The demands include: 1. Stop sending female workers to countries that do not follow international conventions concerning expatriate workers rights and status; 2. Scrap all existing bilateral agreements with these countries, concerning sending female workers; 3. Formulate bilateral agreements with the countries where the country’s female workers are still working to stop their physical, mental, and sexual abuse; 4. Publish the names of employers and workplace addresses of the migrant female workers along with the reports on their physical and mental health check-up on the ministry website; 5. Take disciplinary action, including licence revocation, against the recruitment agencies that send women to the Middle East with the fake promise of quality life; and 6. Pay Tk2 crore to each of the families of the female workers who died or committed suicide or was forced to return home due to the atrocities they suffered while working abroad.