GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
Mapping The Invisible Space: A Gendered Assessment of Violence against South Asian Domestic servants in Gulf Countries
Paper Proposal Text :
South Asian region constitute about one quarter of Earth’s population, with a large number of people living below the poverty line and unemployed. This socio-economic situation has helped in increasing social crimes, especially human trafficking of women and children. Prostitution, which is also included in human trafficking, is an intolerant social reality and a major issue in South Asia. The ratio of human trafficking is high in this region with girls kidnapped from Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and trafficked to mostly Gulf States. Many of the wealthy elite manipulate immigration processes in order to keep immigrant women as their personal domestic servant, subjecting them to a life of indentured servitude and slavery. The sex trade is also prevalent in Gulf countries, as many women are trafficked from all over the world to serve as prostitutes for businessmen clientele.
The condition of poverty facilitates the influx of traffickers and proliferate it. Poverty is cause of lack of economic opportunity at home which creates fertile ground for traffickers to exploit persons in dire need of income, particularly women. Ultimately, work abroad as a domestic worker far from family and familiarity, in a foreign land and culture is too often the lone option for categorically marginalized and destitute women. Women and young girls, dressed smartly to look beautiful and dreaming good job with high wages destined for Gulf countries but their dreams becomes a nightmare when they finally landed up in prostitution. Thus, the migration of economically and socially marginalized South Asian women and girls is therefore, becoming an accelerating phenomenon. The purpose of this paper is identifying the various causes of the plights South Asian domestic workers are facing in Gulf countries. In addition, the paper seeks to explore how the migration of these women domestic servants made them part of human trafficking, which had their lives miserable. There will also be an attempt to analyze their social, economic and culture values in these regions. Outcome of this paper strongly indicates that intersections of multiple identities; such as gender, class, race as well as religion, shape the standpoints of South Asian women as vulnerable.