- Overseas jobs a good option for women workers
- Women can enjoy lower migration costs
- 14% women migrated free of cost
The country fails to create ample job opportunities abroad for women compared to their male counterparts and proper steps should be taken to facilitate migration of skilled women, speakers said at a webinar on Thursday.
They also urged policymakers to disseminate proper information and training for outbound women workers so they do not face unwarranted situations at workplaces overseas.
The virtual discussion was jointly organised by Economic Reporters' Forum, Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID) and Drishti Research Centre and was joined by academicians, researchers and rights campaigners.
Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, secretary to the Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment, was the chief guest at the programme while Igor Bosc, chief technical advisor (Work in Freedom), ILO, attended the event as a special guest.
Rapid chairman MA Razzaque presented his keynote speech at the programme.
He said the size of the labour force in Bangladesh is 63.5 million, of which 43.5 million are male and 20 million are female.
The unemployed labour force is 2.7 million. An additional 2.0 million jobs need to be created every year in Bangladesh, he added.
The keynote speaker observed that the employment opportunity for women workers in the readymade garment sector declined recently and so international migration is a good option for women workers.
Social anthropologist Madame Thérèse Blanchet shared the findings of a survey titled "Migration and Gender in Bangladesh: An Irregular Landscape" that measures and compares women and men's participation in the labour migration sector in the country.
Female outbound workers spend lower migration cost than that of male migrant workers from Bangladesh, but the number of outflow of female workers abroad is much lower than that of male workers, she said.
According to her findings, about 14% of the women migrated without paying any fees to the recruiting agency. This practically never occurred for male migrant workers.
About 26% of the women reported spending Tk10 to 30 thousand for their migration whereas 0.9% of the men reported spending between Tk10 to 70 thousand. These men were all veteran migrants.
Considerably, lower costs for women make migration an attractive proposition. There are risks and pitfalls abroad but most women willing to migrate consider the benefits worth taking the risks, Blanchet added.
The event was moderated by Economic Reporters' Forum General Secretary SM Rashidul Islam while its president Sharmeen Rinvy chaired the event.