When the country’s billions dollar remittance generating manpower export industry is in trouble by the fast shrinking overseas job markets, Bangladeshi female workers have started tightening grip. Taking advantage of ever-growing demand for residential care-givers and maids in Middle-East and European countries, quick-to-adopt Bangladeshi female workers have managed to gain 20 per cent growth in overseas recruitment at the end of 2010 against the previous year.
According to state-run Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), a total of 27,706 Bangladeshi female workers secured their overseas employment in 2010, up by 5,482 from 22,224 in 2009.
Female migrating workers account around 7.0 per cent of the country’s total overseas employment in a year.
“This is a trend we need to give special attention at,” BMET official said adding that they assume even more rapid growth in coming years as they see its prospect is sky-high.
Lead by Mediterranean-state Lebanon, Bangladeshi workers female workers’ recruitment in United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mauritius, Jordan and Singapore has significantly increased in the just-ended year against its previous one. The number, however, dropped in the country’s traditional labour market – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), according to data released by the state-controlled BMET.
Lebanon alone has recruited 15,116 Bangladeshi female workers, driven by its growing demand for residential caregivers and maids, accounts 55 per cent of the year’s total employment. The country employed 13,062 Bangladeshi female workers in 2009, according to the BMET data. Started to gain pace in 2006, Lebanon so-far has employed over 40,000 Bangladeshi female workers. Union of seven Emirate states—UAE—is traditionally the second largest employer for Bangladeshi female workers, employed a total of 7,111 in 2010.
It was 25 per cent of they year’s total employment, BMET data revealed. Gaining pace since 2004 in response to the rapid growth of UAE’s economy, the oil-rich golf state has so-far employed about 45,000 Bangladeshi female workers. With the expansions of apparel industries in island-state Mauritius, Bangladeshi workers, mostly garment workers, have started to get recruited since 2006. So-far 7,000 Bangladeshi female workers have been employed in Mauritius, added by 2,695 new recruits in 2010.
Jordan, another meddle-eastern state has recruited 2,136 Bangladeshi female workers in 2010. New establishment of RMG industries have created the need for trained workers that Bangladeshi females have started taking benefits.
Over 8,000 Bangladeshi females have been recruited by Jordanian companies so-far, according to the state data.
Unlike all thee growing trends, female workers recruitment in the country’s once prime market –KSA- has fallen sharply at only 44 in 2010. Experts called the losing market a victim of failed diplomacy. According to state statistics for the year 2010, Bangladeshi workers recruitment in 2010 was 3,76,327, a decline of 21 per cent as the figure was 4,75,278 in 2009.
Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) chief Tasnim Siddiqui said Bangladesh should take immediate measures to regain their strong dominance in terms of sending large number of migration workers to major destinations as its global competitors like managed to uphold their growth rate in the year.
“The government should give high priority to the sector of labour export as it still remains top in South Asia and fifth largest in the world,” she said, adding that the government allocated only Tk 350 million in the current fiscal to the sector, which already earned Tk 700 billion in 2010.
“This is very unfortunate. The allocation should be increased further for the welfare of the migrant workers,” she said adding that the growing female overseas employment number demands special attention for the policymakers. According to the report, the growth rate of remittance has been increased by around 1.40 per cent than last year, mentioning that the dream of making Bangladesh as a middle income country will be shattered if such rate is continues to decline.
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