Migration women. The share of female migrants were

Migration is a movement of people from one place to another
place either with in a country or from one country to another country for different
reasons such as movement of refugees, economic migrants, and displaced people (International
Organization for Migration, 2011). According
to United Nation (2015), the number of international migrants has continued
increasing from time to time.173 million in 2000, 191 million in 20005, 222
million in 2010, and 244 million in 2015.
Almost half of the migrants in the world today are women. The share of female
migrants were 48 per cent in 2015(United Nation,2015 and
International Labour Organization,2015).

The Horn
of Africa became the internationally known for refugee sending region in
Africa. Ethiopia has experienced migratory flows throughout its history and was
knows as one of the largest producers of migrants in Africa (Fransen &
Kuschminder, 2009).During the 1970s and 1980s, there were largest flow of
refugees and migrants from Ethiopia especially after 1974 revolution. This is
mainly due to war, political repression and persecution (Alkarib 2016 and Fransen
& Kuschminder, 2009). Since the 1990s
increasing number of Ethiopian women domestic workers have been migrating to
Middle East and Gulf States. Over the past two decades, the large source of
women domestic worker for GCC Countries is Ethiopia (Alkarib 2016).

In the countries of Gulf Cooperation Council; including ,
Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudia Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates , it
is estimated that world population of migrant workers to be between 53 and 100
million where the total population is 35 million and half of them are migrant
workers who are involved in domestic work (ILO,2012). According to  Faiz
Omar Mohammad  & Anwar Hassan  2015, in
terms of magnitude Bahrain and Oman have the lowest inflow of migrants, whereas
Saudi Arabia and the UAE have the highest migration inflow (Thimothy and
Sasikumar,2012).

Accordingly, GCC countries become the destination of
Ethiopian women labour migrants as well as women migrants from Asian and other
African countries such as Eritrea, Sudan and Egypt (Faiz Omar Mohammad  &
Anwar Hassan 2015, and Fernandez 2013). In 2008 and 2009, Saudi Arabia and
Kuwait has become the top countries receiving 61 %and 33% respectively of Ethiopian
women domestic workers (Fernandez, 2010). Later on, Bahrain
and the United Arab Emirates followed as
top destination countries (Ministry of labour and social Affairs, 2013 as cited
in Sintayehu Hunde,2016). Moreover, According to MOLSA, 2013,
it is estimated that 380,076
of women migrants work in Saudi Arabia. Reports from MOLSA, 2013 indicated that
93 percent of Ethiopian women migrants to the Middle East were female between
20-30 years of age and involved in domestic work such as cleaning, cooking and
caring for the children and elderly.

Ethiopian
men and women migrants use both the regular and irregular ways to enter in to
the Gulf States. According to reports from Office to
Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, 2014, more than 1500 Ethiopians
migrated daily through legal ways. However this likely represents only 30 to 40
percent of those migrated. About 60 to 70 percent are trafficked or smuggled by
illegal brokers. (Fernandez, 2013 and Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking
in Persons, 2017). According to reports from IOM
 cited in Fransen and Kuschminder,( 2009),
one of the reason behind trafficking
of Ethiopian women is mis- information given by the illegal brokers.
Additionally the report estimated that even though the number of trafficked
women are unknown but it is estimated that 130,000 Ethiopian women and children
in the Gulf States.

            On the other hand, the rights of
migrant women are violated during travel and also in the country of destination
(Martin, 2014). Due to the nature
of the work they undertake, migrant women domestic workers experiences
different problems. Especially those women work as housemaids in private homes
are vulnerable to problems such as sexual harassement, physical abuse, rape,
and underpayment of wages (Oishi,
2002).

Despite
numerous reports of abuses on Ethiopian women migrants in Gulf States and the
ban of Ethiopian government migration to the gulf state as domestic workers in
2013, Ethiopians have continued to migrate to the Gulf States in irregular way
(Fernandez, 2017). However, the factors behind the migration of women to the
gulf state have not been given enough attention. Therefore, studying Factors of
women migration to the Gulf States is important because there are little
actions around the subject. Hence this study was aimed at exploring the factors
of Ethiopian women migration to the gulf state.

Statement of the problem

The
Ethiopian women migrate to the gulf state due to different factors. The
patriarchal nature of Ethiopian society leads women to limited access to formal
economy employment opportunity and access to education. On the other hand early
marriage, sexual harassment, gender based violence and teenage pregnancy are
among the factors leads  to school
droup-out of girls as they move up to higher grades. As a result, women in Ethiopia
have less opportunity to education and employment than do men. (Faiz Omar &
Anwar Hassan, 2015 and UNESCO 2012). Furthermore, according to Mahtsente Yohannes and
Merit Maqazi, 1998 as cited in Emebet Kebede (2002), only 28% of women in the
country are civil servants, while 72% are men. Most of these women works in
jobs traditionally considered as women’s roles such as nursing, food
preparation, office cleaning, secretaries and telefon- operators. Therefore all
these factors leave women economically weak. Similarly, study conducted by
Meskerem Mulatu (2011), found that economic problem due to unemployment and low
income as the major pushing factors for women migration.In addition to the factors outlined above, According
to study conducted by Girmay Tadele (2015), political and legal, socio cultural
and gender issues become the major pushing factors behind the migration of the
women domestic workers.

Migrant
women face several challenges and affected by migration differently than men.
Similarly, according to Martin, (2014),
migrant women face discrimination because of their status both as
migrants and women. They are vulnerable to abuse, physical assault, hardship
and also earn lessthan men and native- born women (Martin, 2014). Furthermore, study conducted by Yemisrach Feraw (2015), on experience of eight deported women Ethiopians
who returned from kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows that migrant women domestic
workers face physical, sexual, and emotional abuses by employers or
family members and friends of the employers.

Study
conducted by Meseret Ayalewi and Ababa
Minaye (2017), was on mental health status of returnee Ethiopian women from the
Middle East and Women in the Process of Migration indicated that 81 per cent of
the returnees of the study participants’ shows neurotic syptoms and 63% of
these participants have experienced psychotic symptoms. Regarding those in the
process of migration, 39% of the participants are shows neurotic symptoms and
only 21% of these participants have experienced psychotic symptoms.

Ethiopian migrants who use irregular route transit
through Somalia, Djibouti, and Yemen to travel Saudi Arabia ( Office To
Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons,2017).
Although the majority of irregular Ethiopian migrant to Saudi Arabia are men,
women do travel through irregular route over land and sea.(
Fernandez, 2017, Office To
Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons,2014). Study conducted by Girmay
Tadele(2015),on the violations of
rights of girls during irregular migrat?on indicated that Ethiopian
girls travel through irregular rout became victims of sexual abuse including
rape by more than two men to one girl at once, and physical violence sucha as
beating, punching and slapping.

             Even though Ethiopian government banned all
migration to the Gulf States and Middle East since 2013, the flow of irregular
migrants from the Horn of Africa to Yemen to reach Saudi Arabia was increased
by 40% in 2014 and around 80% (72,000)
of these migrants were Ethiopian and most of them
are those who are returning after being deported (Fernandez, 2017). Beside, Despite aware of low
wages, physical abuse and sexual harassment young Ethiopian women continued
migrating to the Gulf States. They still choose to take risks and migrate to
these countries (Martini, 2015). This indicates that there are serious factors
behind migration of these women which needed to be researched in detail.  However, the factors of Ethiopian women
migration to the Gulf States and the challenges they faced during their stay is
a little studied area. The few existing studies on these areas are specific to
a town, region and mostly used case studies which focus on the cases of few
individuals. These gaps in research basically inspired this study in order to
identify the pushing and pulling factors of Ethiopian women migration to the
gulf state. Moreover, this study interprets the challenges they face in their
day to day life and how they cope with those challenges.