This news is so shocking it is hard to believe. If it is true, it must be stopped at any cost. This is a wholesale enslavement of Ethiopian women, particularly those from the Amhara and Oromo ethnic groups.
JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA (Saudi Gazette) – Ethiopia is facilitating procedures to send 45,000 maids to the Kingdom every month, an informed source at the Ethiopian Embassy in Saudi Arabia has said.
Ethiopian housemaids have been high in demand after the Kingdom stopped recruiting housemaids from four countries, including Kenya, because the Kingdom has been unable to reach a satisfactory agreement with these countries, Asharq Al-Awsat reported Wednesday.
Noor Adeen Masfa, Vice Consul for Economic Affairs in Jeddah, said his department and committees from the Ethiopian Ministry of Labor met several times to facilitate the travel of housemaids to the Kingdom after they are properly trained in Ethiopia.
“We decided to finish procedures of 1,500 housemaids due to the increasing demand for Ethiopian housemaids by Saudi families. Ethiopian housemaids are trained well on Saudi customs and traditions, besides the percentage of runaways is low,” he said.
Unavailability of sufficient flights from Addis Ababa has also caused the delay in the travel of a large number of housemaids.
Some Saudi families have complained that their Ethiopian housemaids left their households after coming to the Kingdom to work illegally because they get lucrative offers from private companies and brokers. Masfa said this matter was studied and discussed. Deterring penalties will be put on housemaids who do that, he said.
“Some Saudi families employ housemaids illegally and pay them SR2,000 a month. That’s why many housemaids run away,” he added.
Masfa said the Ministry of Labor in Ethiopia is considering to put conditions in the contracts to allow housemaids use a cell phone and talk to their families and the consulate in the Kingdom.
“Saudi recruitment offices have welcomed this idea,” he said.