Women workers send home larger portion of remittances: ILO study

Dhaka,  Tue,  26 September 2017
Published : 22 Feb 2016, 23:52:53

Women workers send home larger portion of remittances: ILO study

They save more money than male workers
Arafat Ara

Bangladesh's women migrant workers remit home larger portion of their income than their male counterparts do, an ILO study said.

Besides, the share of remittances to the total being sent by women workers is on an increasing trend.

The study also said migrant women workers are more likely to save money than their male counterparts. This saving behaviour is further strengthened by socio-religious structures of some destination countries where women are not allowed to socialise as freely as men.

On an average, a Bangladeshi migrant worker annually remits Tk 115,178.42. Of the amount, a male migrant worker on an average send Tk 115,864.89 while woman only Tk 75,018.91, it said.   

Bangladeshi women workers send less than men as their per capita earning is lower compared as they are employed in low-paid jobs.

The findings were revealed through the study titled: 'Gender and Migration from Bangla-desh: mainstreaming migration into the national development plans from a gender perspective' conducted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The in-depth survey where a total of 67 returning migrants and 69 migrants' households were interviewed in 14 districts across the country was published in 2014.

The survey aimed at creating understanding of the potential macro and micro gains and losses from international migration, including those arising from the return of migrant workers.

Other objectives include promotion of development of labour and social protection policies and mechanisms for potential and current migrant women workers.

The study findings also revealed that women migrants learn many new things with regard to home maintenance, childcare, and also some new small business ideas while working abroad.

But they cannot apply those ideas on return because they find themselves bound by socio-religious strictures that they must follow as Bangladeshi women. They something find those restricted by duties imposed upon them by their families.

Some responses by returning migrant women workers demonstrate how challenging it is to disaggregate remittance data by sex.

A number of women said in many instances remittance from multiple women is collected by one individual who is typically a man, and that this person takes the responsibility to remit the money. As a result, it would appear that a man is remitting money back to Bangladesh when really it is earned and remitted by women.

The study said apart from financial remittances, migrants also send or take home social remittances such as new skills, attitudes and knowledge. Returning migrant women workers develop skills overseas but they often cannot use their social remittances in Bangladesh.

Sumaiya Islam, director of the Bangladeshi Ovhibashi Mohila Sramik Association (BOMSA) said the country's business environment is not congenial for women. So they cannot use their hard-earned money in their desired ventures.

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