The government in Nepal says it's banning women under the age of 30 from going to work in Middle Eastern countries. The move comes after growing concerns about the exploitation of young women employed there.
Reportagem: Jill McGivering
Officially almost 60,000 Nepalese women are now working in the Middle East but the unofficial estimate is closer to 200,000. Many of them are under 30 years old and will be directly affected by the new ban.
The government's been under growing pressure to do more to protect its workers. Women employed in the informal sector as part of a household are very vulnerable. Nepal's Embassies in the region say they deal with numerous cases of alleged physical or sexual abuse, as well as complaints about unpaid wages and terrible conditions.
Many run safe houses to support women who flee their employer's homes. It's only 18 months since the government ended a 12-year ban on all women workers to the Gulf. That was imposed after a young woman working in Kuwait committed suicide. Now they're adopting this partial ban in the hope that older women might be less at risk. Nepal has a high unemployment rate and the government is trying to strike a balance between protection and allowing women to pursue opportunities.
Other countries face the same dilemma. Two months ago, Kenya banned its citizens from working in the Middle East because, it said, increasing numbers were being mistreated. Last year, Indonesia introduced a ban on women working as maids in the region. That followed numerous cases of abuse and the execution of an Indonesian maid who was accused of killing her former employer.
growing pressure (pressão crescente) increasing force
vulnerable (vulnerável) exposed to being hurt physically or emotionally
alleged (suposto) unproven
safe houses (abrigos) buildings in a secret location used to keep people who are in danger
imposed (imposto) put in place without any choice
strike a balance (encontrar um meio-termo) find a compromise
to pursue (buscar) to follow
dilemma (dilema) difficult sutuation