Migrant workers

Nepali women ahead of men in committing suicide abroad

January 24, 2017 01:10 AM RUDRA KHADKA


KATHMANDU, Jan 24: While the number of women opting for job abroad is far less as compared to men, they are simply ahead of their male counterparts while it comes to committing suicide. According to a recent report published by International Labor Organization, 24 percent of Nepali women migrant workers committed suicide in 2014/15 whereas the percentage for the male workers stands at 17. 

“Cursory glance at the chart of the males and females leaving the country for foreign employment shows that few women go to Gulf countries for job. However, if we go by suicide ratio, women are dying more easily than men,” says Nirmala Thapa, director at Foreign Employment Promotion Board. 

“We have not done deep study over it, but ILO report confirms it,” she added. 

As per the data of the board 1,200 to 1,500 Nepali youths leave the country for foreign employment on a daily basis. Compared to that, arrival of three to four dead bodies of those migrant workers is not a surprise, according to Thapa. 

“The higher suicide rate of women could be due to the higher level of exploitation against them. When life is too hard, one decides to end it rather than fight for it,” she said. 

Thapa also assumed that women in foreign employment chose to kill themselves also because of family issues. “They work, earn and send money back home. But here, their husbands marry other woman and restart their life. This might also be a cause of suicide among women,” he said. 

A total of 4.4 million Nepali males and 133,000 females have received labor permit from the board till date, as per the data of the board.  “More number of male migrant workers have died in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. Likewise, Kuwait, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates are the major destinations where more female workers have died,” Thapa stated.

Besides suicide, accidents, heart attack and illness are the other causes of deaths of Nepali migrant workers, according to Thapa.


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