Nepal lifts ban on its women working in the Gulf

Kathmandu, Dec 10 (ANI): Nepal has reportedly lifted a ban on the country's working women going to Gulf countries to earn their livelihood, and introduced new rules designed to protect them.

According to the BBC, the ban has been in force since 1998, when a Nepalese domestic worker who was abused in Kuwait, committed suicide, creating a national scandal.

After the incident, Nepalese authorities had barred women from travelling to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. However many of them continue to travel to these countries to escape poverty.

Meanwhile Nepal's employment ministry spokesman Purnachandra Bhattarai said that these countries should assure that Nepalese women would be provided with basic safety needs before recruiting them.

"Before they can recruit workers, employers will have to assure us they will provide insurance, accommodation, security and a basic wage," Bhattarai said.

He also stated that Nepalese embassies, which would be responsible for defining a minimum wage for each country, would monitor the guarantees.

Around two million poor women from countries such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Nepal work in the wealthy Gulf countries, and often face abuse at the hand of their employers, the report said.

According to campaigners, most women travel to these countries via India in order to avoid detection.

Campaign group 'Human Rights Watch'' says that many domestic workers are denied food, medical care, and sometimes even detained against their will. They have few avenues to make complaints or obtain shelter, the report added. (ANI)

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