Tortured, abused females desperate to return home

Fatenur Begum, who went to Saudi Arabia in search of a better life, now finds life unbearable, being tortured and abused by her employer.
Making a journey from the remote village of Ghoper Danga at Tungipara in Gopalganj, she went to the oil-rich kingdom as a housemaid in early January this year.
But, distraught and broken-hearted, Fatenur now waits only for the day when she will be brought back home.
In an application her husband Mojibur Sheikh submitted to the Wage Earners Welfare Board on Sunday, a fervent appeal was made to immediately bring back his wife.
‘Fatenur is now passing days in a terrible condition, being sexually abused by four male members of the employer’s family,’ Mojibur told New Age over phone.
‘She has been physically tortured as well,’ he said, seeking immediate government intervention to bring his wife back home.
About 450 housemaids have currently been staying at the safe homes in Riyadh and Jeddah of Bangladesh missions, according to officials in Dhaka and Riyadh.
Expatriates welfare and overseas employment ministry additional secretary (missions) Mohammad Azharul Haque told New Age that the female workers were crowding the safe homes in their desperate bid to return home as they complained about torture and overload of works.
Azharul Haque, who led a seven-member delegation while visiting safe homes in Riyadh and Jeddah in April 21-28, said that many female workers wanted to return home failing to adapt to the new atmosphere.
‘Homesickness is another reason for the female workers to want to come back home,’ he mentioned.
Wage Earners Welfare Board officials said that they were receiving more than 100 applications monthly from relatives of the tortured migrant workers seeking their repatriation from the KSA.
They cited sexual abuse, physical torture, overload of workers and food problems as main reasons for repatriation.
When asked, labour counselor at Bangladesh Consulate General Office in Jeddah Aminul Islam told New Age on Monday that they found 50 per cent of the complaints about sexual abuses to be true.
‘After receiving any complaint, we communicate with employers, extend helps to migrants and arrange their repatriation if they want it,’ he assured.
Kulsum, who worked as domestic worker in Saudi Arabia, returned home in March after a seven-month stay enduring abuses, excessive works and exploitation.
Hailing from Narayanganj, she told New Age that she was recruited to serve a four-member family but going there she found it to be a 17-member large family.
She was forced to work from 6:00am to 2:00am daily, she said, describing her sufferings.
The employer often beat her as she made complaints to his wife about his sexual tortures.
‘I was always scared of the employer, who was bad person who used to come to my room to abuse me,’ she recounted.
Kulsum said that she was compelled to back home being tortured by the employer.
Bangladeshi Ovhibashi Mahila Sramik Association, a local migrant rights organisation, said that it received complaints from many housemaids who suffered abuses, tortures and wage denials in the KSA.
BOMSA director Sumaiya Islam told New Age that she received complaints that female workers were being sent back home from the KSA without providing them wages of several months.
Before being sent, they were tortured in the offices of Saudi Recruiting Agencies locally called ‘moktab’, she said.
Sumaiya demanded that the authorities concerned should raise the issue with employers and ensure rights of the migrants.
Under a bilateral agreement, signed on February 2015, the KSA began hiring housemaids from Bangladesh as care givers, gardeners and drivers.
According to Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, about 150,000 housemaids have gone to work in the kingdom.
Most of them flew to the country in 2015 and 2016 as the country resumed hiring the maids from Bangladesh, said BMET officials.

Source: New Age

One Response to Tortured, abused females desperate to return home

  1. With a woman Prime Minister in the country for last over 25 years, its a pity that the fate & treatment to Bangladeshi working women abroad has only got worse.

    Story at home front is no better. Be it VN h/s Porimol or Sepoy Halima. God help !!

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