The Vulnerability of Ethiopian Rural Women and Girls : The Case of Domestic Workers in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Sociologiska institutionen


The migration of economically and socially marginalized rural Ethiopian women and girls is becoming an accelerating phenomenon. Although the displacement is disguised by voluntary labour migration, their vulnerable position makes them easy targets creating a fertile ground for traffickers. The purpose of this study is identifying the causes of the plights Ethiopian domestic workers are facing in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The study is conducted in light of phenomenological framework aiming to understand the problem through the lived experiences of returnee victims. In-depth interviews with key informants are conducted in order to acquire a broader insight of the root causes and consequences of the problem. Findings of this research indicate that intersections of multiple identities; such as gender, class, race as well as religion, shape the standpoints of Ethiopian women as vulnerable. The themes of the result from interviews and observations are discussed in line with the relevant theoretical explanation provided in the study. In addition, the obstacles that challenge the effort of combating women trafficking is also discussed in accordance with the research question. This contributes to a further understanding of the challenges Ethiopian women face as domestic workers abroad.

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