Female rights activists, researchers and lawyers on Saturday emphasized the need for making the country’s female workers as technically skilled manpower before sending them abroad.
They also emphasized on empowering the female workers with providing skill training so they could face any challenge at the destination countries.
Speaking at roundtable, they called on the government to send female workers abroad ensuring their safety, security and rights.
Sangat Bangladesh organized the peace table on the issue of Women Migrant Workers: Ensuring their safety, security and rights determining our role’ in the city.
Sangat is a feminist network that is working for gender justice, equality and peace regionally and globally.
Moderating the peace table, Khushi Kabir, Coordinator of Nijera Kori, a civil society and feminist leader in Bangladesh, said that female workers should be sent abroad after ensuring their safety and rights.
She stressed the need for taking concerted moves by all concerned to protect the female migrant workers facing problems in Saudi Arabia and other countries.
PROGROSHOR executive director Fawzia Khondker Eva, who is actively involved with the women’s movement in Bangladesh and South Asia, said that political commitment was needed to groom skilled women workers for overseas jobs.
She emphasized empowering women workers by proving them proper training to face the challenges in migration.
Samajtantrik Mahila Forum general secretary Sampa Basu said that she did not understand why the government was unable to groom skilled nurses to send them abroad.
She said that efforts should be taken to send skilled workers abroad instead of marginalized and vulnerable women domestic workers who were very exposed to exploitations.
Freelancer Rokeya Khatun, also social development and gender specialist, said that the country’s women should be technically turned skilled by themselves for working at home and abroad.
‘There is no alternative to technical education. We will sell our skill abroad,’ she said.
Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh presidium member Bahnishika Jamali urged the government to ensure safety and security of the female migrant workers employed in Saudi Arabia.
WARBE Development Foundation director Jasia Khatoon said that divorced and abandoned females were mostly migrating to overseas countries as there had no chance to get works in the country.
She said that training for Saudi bound female workers should be upgraded like Hong Kong bound domestic workers to lessen problems at the destination countries.
Supreme Court lawyer Hasnat Kaiyum said that real offenders should be brought to book by ensuring the responsibility of all agencies concerned.
The government should have to change its outlook towards migrant workers as human being, he said.
Bangladesh Nari Sramik Kendra’s researcher Mushfika Laiju presented keynote paper with primary information of her study on female migration and said that most of the female workers were keen to re-migrate abroad.
Journalist Md Owasim Uddin Bhuyan who has been working with labour migration issues for a decade said that Bangladesh sent its workers to 170 countries but it had bilateral agreement on manpower with Qatar and Kuwait only.
Returnee migrants Nadira of Pabna and Sultana of Manikganj said that they were preparing to re-migrate abroad to support their families.
Individual freelancers and representatives from different non-government organizations also spoke at the peace table.