Nepalese women banned from seeking Middle East employment

Nepalese women banned from seeking Middle East employment
Published:  11 Aug at 9 AM
Nepal has banned women below the age of 30 moving to countries in the Middle East to seek housemaid work due to fears about exploitation and abuse.

Housemaids from south and east Asian countries have spoken of being mistreated by their employers in the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia, for some time. Abusive treatment including violence, withholding wages, passport confiscation and sexual assaults have all been complained about.

In 2010, 15 domestic workers from Nepal committed suicide in Lebanon because of the abuse they received. Kenya, Sri Lanka and Indonesia have also introduced or are in the process of implementing similar rulings preventing women going to work in the Middle East.%
The abuse experienced in the Middle East is nothing new to Nepalis. A number of years ago a woman committed suicide in Kuwait after being severely mistreated by her employers. This sparked outrage in the Himalayan country and resulted in young women being banned from migrating to the region for 12 years. It was only two years ago the ban was lifted, but the government have now decided to put it back in place.

Reports from the BBC indicate that there are currently around 200,000 Nepalis residing and working in Persian Gulf countries. However, that number is actually expected to be higher as many Nepalis heading to the Middle East for work travel through India illegally and are listed as Indians.