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This blog is dedicated to women from Sri lanka and Ethiopia working as domestic workers in Beirut, Lebano
n. These women take upon themselves great voyages to foreign countries in the hope of a better future. Their courage and endurance is outstanding.

As time passes, the issues covered in this blog have expanded to cover other kinds of specific women's work like sex work, historical ways of describing the plight of women: white slavery, human traffic or modern slavery as well identitarian politics and gender...

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15 août 2007 3 15 /08 /août /2007 21:28


The case of female labour migrants

by Emebet Kebede

(Gender Promotion Programme, International Labour Office Geneva)

 find it here

So much can be said about the work of international interstate organizations like the ILO, controlled by western countries and with their mouths full of human rights and goodwill (this argument will be developed elsewhere), but they have so many publications available online, and depending on the writer, they are quite informative. 

This is the case of Emebet Kebede's "assesment of the international labour migration situation in Ethiopia ". As I am able to ascertain from net research, Ms. Kebede is a lawyer and "an activist in the area of women's legal rights", probably working by now for some Swedish or Canadian development centre or worse, for the ILO or IOM in some of those fake women and governance programmes (but here I am letting go of my own nightmares)

In any case her paper on women's labour migration is serious business, not only because she works her way through legislation, governmental initiatives, private initiatives and a whole bucketful of data, but because her methodology includes meetings with migrant workers themselves. These women are not only made to stand for painful case descriptions like in those colourful UN-brochures, but are also asked about their opinion and treated as if they had something to say:

Migrant workers feel they need free and reliable information on all aspects of the migration process before they make a decision to migrate.


All participants of the group discussions singled out legal protection by the

Government should be guaranteed before citizens leave the country as migrant workers.


Returnees feel that embassies or consulates should be established in all Gulf States where a large number of Ethiopian migrant women are found.


Upon reading the paper though, I have some questions on the completeness of the picture it draws:

- Do Ethiopian women leave only for Arab countries? What about Europe, Canada, the US?  

- What is the role of the church and Christian organizations in the support of these women? At a certain point, the paper talks about a magazine of the Christian Orthodox church published in Lebanon, are there maybe other networks, religious and informal, that may serve these women to exchange and organize?

- Do women that migrate always come back beaten and broke?

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Published by Maidinbeirut - dans ethiopia
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