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Ethiopian MWDWs in Lebanon in the face of prejudice and racism

13-2-2018

Al Akhbar newspaper featured in a special article yesterday the Ethiopian migrant women domestic workers (MWDWs) in Lebanon, spotlighting freelancers working outside the confinement of domestic service. For more insight on the subject, the newspaper spoke to the Ethiopian Ambassador to Beirut, Halima Fakih, who expounded on the conditions of some 300,000 MWDWs. Recounting joyful and sad stories of many of them, Fakih grieved the bad luck of those who are subjected to physical and mental abuse by some employers who refuse to pay their wages, however small, while she remains powerless and can do nothing to help them except to intervene to settle the worker-employer dispute. Al Akhbar also portrayed the experience of two Ethiopian nationals, Jeanette, running a hair salon in Badaro and Martha managing another beauty salon and an Ethiopian eatery in Dora. Asked about the difficulties they face in Lebanon, Jeanette said that although she is married to a Lebanese and pays taxes, yet she did not get a residence permit, nor a Lebanese nationality, for Ethiopia does not allow dual citizenship. Jeanette boasted that the salon gives her a space to live a life and practice a culture which for Ethiopians migrating for employment is initially intended to be confined to domestic work. Ethiopians, Jeanette explained, are not only domestic workers. Her national Martha, who is married to a Lebanese, complained that her children are bullied in schools because their mother is “a Sri Lankan”, as they are told, mentioning that they preferred to quit and return to Ethiopia to live there. For the full article, kindly visit the following links: https://www.al-akhbar.com/node/290642، https://www.al-akhbar.com/node/290640. (Al Akhbar, February 12, 2018)

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