More Nepali women seeking greener pastures abroad

Kathmandu, September 4:

The number of women going abroad for jobs is on the rise.

A study conducted by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and NEEDS said around 78,000 Nepal women have left for foreign countries in search of jobs.

Some two million Nepali workers have either legally or illegally reached third countries for jobs, according to the Labour Ministry. Among those going abroad, many boarded flights from India.

According to data of the Foreign Employment Department, currently 9,63,708 Nepali workers are working in foreign countries excluding India.

The increasing number of workers leaving for foreign countries has greatly contributed to national economy. The World Bank estimated that around Rs 102.4 billion informally entered Nepal through foreign remittance in 2007.

The remittance through foreign employment has contributed to the Gross Domestic Production (GDP) by 18 per cent. Of the total remittance, women workers account for 11 per cent. The foreign employment sector has been praised for reducing poverty in the country. During the 10th planning period, Nepal’s poverty came down to 11 per cent.

According to economic experts, remittance helped reduce poverty in this period which saw average remittance per family increased to Rs 34,688 from Rs 15,160. An official of Remittance Network, Som Luintel, said residence facility and security should be provided to women workers employed abroad.