" The government also needs to work out an arrangement to take care of issues such as the safety and protection of Indian women working abroad, he added."
By Sanu George

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 18 - As more and more women in Middle East countries step outside their homes for work, the opportunities for Asians to work as cooks, nannies and drivers in the region are likely to go up, said a migration expert.

S. Irudayarajan, who heads the migration unit attached to the ministry of overseas Indian affairs at the Centre for Development Studies, told IANS that there is an opportunity for semi and unskilled Indians to find jobs in Middle East countries.

This is a huge opportunity for India because when Middle East women start to work, there would be a huge number of jobs in the semi and unskilled category for both men and women from Asia.

The need of the hour is to find out how we can make use of this new opportunity and what would be the impact, said Irudayarajan.

He said Asian men and women are likely to get employed in the domestic sector in Middle East homes as cooks, nannies and drivers.

The women there will experience the same situations we experienced in our families when women started to work. Already women from Africa have started to arrive in these countries, said Irudayarajan.

According to a Kerala government survey last year, there were 1,625,653 non-resident Keralites, of whom 1,424,853 were working - 1,325,527 males and 99,326 females.

Irudayarajan also said that a majority of the Kerala women who work as nurses in the Middle East need not worry about their jobs.

The nursing sector is not in demand among the Middle East women. There would be more jobs created for our nurses, as demand would increase for proper geriatric care of the elderly population in these countries, said Irudayarajan.

He said our government must see this as an opportunity and start working on how to capitalise it.

The government also needs to work out an arrangement to take care of issues such as the safety and protection of Indian women working abroad, he added.

(Sanu George can be contacted at [email protected])


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