Last updated: Saturday, June 20, 2015 10:48 PM
Saudi Gazette report
DAMMAM — A Bangladeshi diplomat has said few Bangladeshi women are applying to work in Saudi Arabia as housemaids, Makkah daily reported.
Labor Attaché at Bangladesh Embassy in Riyadh Sirwar Alem said only 500 Bangladeshi women will be coming to work in the Kingdom during Ramadan.
“An average of 16 housemaids will arrive a day. Only 5,000 Bangladeshi women have applied to 100 different recruitment offices in various regions of Bangladesh. Not all of them will be qualified to come to the Kingdom as they still have to go through medical checkups, which could eliminate a great number of them,” said Alem.
He said the Kingdom does not offer great incentives for Bangladeshi women in comparison to the other opportunities they have.
“They are only paid SR800 a month if they come to work in Saudi Arabia while they can earn SR1,875 working in Hong Kong. They can also earn up to SR1,125 working in Kuwait, Qatar and Oman. They also have better work opportunities in Jordan and Thailand,” said Alem.
He also said after the Kingdom banned the recruitment of Bangladeshis for eight years, many are still apprehensive about applying because of fears that a similar ban may be imposed again.
“Also, some Bangladeshi women who have previously worked in the Kingdom have not portrayed a very positive image about the work conditions as a housemaid in Saudi Arabia. As a result, many women are afraid to go to the Kingdom,” said Alem.
Aside from the general public’s view on working in the Kingdom as a housemaid, the procedures required such as passport authentication and medical reports are time consuming in Bangladesh, he added.
Labor Ministry spokesman Tayseer Al-Mofarej said the Kingdom follows up with the countries that violate the ministry’s regulations.
“We have a delegation from the ministry in India and Bangladesh to follow up with the recruitment of domestic workers. Its job is to address any hindrance delaying the process and urge recruitment offices there to complete their part of the contract,” said Al-Mofarej.