Immigration is the movement of people into a nation in which they are not native in order to settle down there mainly as permanent dwellers or future citizens. There are various reasons that cause immigrants to move to foreign countries. They include the need of economic prosperity, factors tied to politics, running away from conflict or natural calamities, or desire to change one’s nationality. There have been many discussions regarding the various aspects of immigration observed, such as the experiences of the children of the immigrants. Immigrant women in Saudi Arabia face a number of issues.
Female immigrants, mainly from African countries, have continued to flock Saudi Arabia in hope for a better and wealthy life in this country. That is not to say that there are no immigrants from other continents and neighboring nations to Saudi Arabia as many female workers from all over the world continue to flock the country with hopes for a better life. There are a variety of reasons why the African females are most affected by the immigration cases, among them is escaping from cruelty and conflict in their local countries, and escaping poverty that is the main reason. Since the women are smuggled into the country, the traffickers also play a part in encouraging women to move to the country, they entice the women with job opportunities and a posh lifestyle in the country. Human trafficking is a common trade in the country, mostly involving female workers from Africa and Asia (Legrain, 2014).
Once ashore in the trafficker's hands, that is when violation and mistreatment of the women starts. There have been cases where employers have thrown women overboard on their way to the country, and the perpetrators never brought to book. During the voyage to the country, immigrant women opened up that they are forced to give sexual favors to their traffickers, failure to do that result to violence and even death. Since these women are transported in small vessels, but in colossal numbers there have been cases of suffocation of a large number of them while confined in their transit vessels (Brauch, 2003).
It has been established that the high number of female workers to Saudi Arabia is the promise and hope of well-paying house help jobs in the country. Once in the country their fate, dreams, and the prosperity tales turn out to be one of their darkest life moments. Those who do not succeed in getting home jobs end up in the streets begging for money and being sexually abused. It has been proved that some are even bought and sold for sexual and slave-like treatment by the involved parties. Although the Saudi Arabian government maintains records of the domestic worker in the country, there is a large number unrecorded immigrant in the country.
Even those documented foreign female workers are faced with multiple problem in their workplaces. Many of the house helps subjected to harsh working conditions in their masters’ houses, they for longer hours than a normal human should work and often perform hard tasks around the house. The workers are paid very little salaries at the end of the month and often they are denied their pay. Their employers disregard all the job agreements they make with the house help and torture and exhausting jobs become the norm.
The employers also mistreat the female domestic workers in different occasions. They exposed to physical abuse where their merchant often under false accusations made against them beats them up. There have been reported cases of sexual harassment of the female workers by their bosses. Bosses have raped, thrown out into the streets, and killed their women workers. Often, they accuse the women of black magic on the families, and the law does not protect them under such accusations and mistreatments.
For the unskilled individuals, they are unable to take any legal action against their employers where their rights are violated. It is also impossible for them to escape from the grips of their non- relenting bosses. Their bosses always take their passports from them to ensure that they do not attempt to get out of the country since it is impossible to travel out of the region without proper documentation. The problems of the female workers in the country are not only confined in the houses they work in, but also extended by the local authorities. If arrested by the local authorities for any charges, they are denied of their right to counsel. In addition, they are held in custody for long hours than it should be and mistreated while under custody (Baicker, 2003).
Concisely, the Saudi Arabia government and domestic workers organizations have done little to avert the plight of the foreign domestic workers in the area. The government continues to issue licenses for importation of domestic workers yet does little to ensure that they are well treated in the homes they work. All countries should react to the increased plight of female workers in the region, and protect their rights.
Baicker, K. (2003). Immigration. Scholastic Inc.
Brauch, H. G. (2003). Security and Environment in the Mediterranean: Conceptualizing Security and Environmental Conflicts. New York: Springer.
Hunter, N. (2011). Immigration; Hot Topics. Heinemann Library.
Legrain, P. (2014). Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them. Princeton: Princeton University Press.