Nepal lifts ban on women working in the Gulf
The BBC reports that Nepal’s employment ministry has lifted its ban on women working in Gulf countries and introduced new rules for their protection.
The ban has been in force in Nepal since 1998, after a domestic worker committed suicide after being abused in Kuwait.
This created a national scandal which lead to the authorities banning women from travelling to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
However, many women still choose to travel to these countries as a way out of poverty, and campaigners say that many travel via India to avoid detection.
Employment minister Purnachandra Bhattarai says that before employers in these countries can recruit Nepalese women workers, they will have to provide assurances about insurance, accomodation, security and wages.
These guarantees would be monitored by Nepales embassies, who would define a minimum wage for each country.
An estimated two million women from poor countries such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Nepal work in the wealthy Gulf countries and many report abuse and mistreatment from their employers (see earlier WVoN story).