Friday, 20 March 2015

How are migrant women treated in Middle East?

By Jafreen Alamgir
When a child cries for food, it is a woman who works to make him or her happy. When a child laughs, it is a woman who feels that they have accomplished something. But these emotions cannot be explicitly shown or understood because it is the affection of a mother. And a woman is a mother. In order to protect her children, a mother can take any risks you ask from them without evaluating the cost and benefits of migrating to a foreign country. I am not saying that men are useless or worthless. More emphasis is being placed on the way women, especially South Asian women who are being ill- treated in countries like Middle East.

Harassment is the main thing that women encounter while working for people living in countries like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and so on. Their employers don’t treat them properly. They are being deprived of basic human rights. They are made to stay in places where the quality of water and food is not good enough to survive. They are not paid salary in time . Their iqama are being snatched away from them and they are being trapped in houses of the owners. With insults, assaults and false allegations, they are being victims of psychological abuse.

It is sometimes argued that we need to encounter psychological abuses in order to have a practical view of the world. That is, a woman cannot expect her employer to be sweet and dedicated to her. But at least she should be at least treated like a human. She should not be made to work for more than 18 hours. That does not necessarily indicate the physical weakness of a woman, it is about her being a human, not a robot who can be made to work continuously for 24 hours. 

In the process of international migration, women may move away from situations where they are under traditional, patriarchal authority to situation in which they can exercise greater autonomy over their own lives. With the hope of fulfilling their dreams, they come abroad. And their wishes turn out to be a nightmare when they are mistreated by the employers when they are forced to have sex with the man and his acquaintances. If such cases happen, they are unable to ask for help from anyone around them. My question is why are women objectified like this? Are they no human beings like you?

Solutions only come when a person who does not just witness such cases, but use all their efforts to bring a change in the way women are viewed in the world. But I would ask more women to start a campaign that will be helpful for the governments of all countries to recognize the power of women.

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