Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)
College of Arts and Sciences
Anne Louise Bartlett
Kenya’s economy remains the regional leader within the East African Community (EAC) and among East African countries at large. However, political instability such as the 2007 post-election violence and the region’s social and political instability trickling into Kenya, have negatively affected the country’s economic growth. To bridge the economic gap, Kenyan women are seeking employment in the domestic service sector in the Gulf Countries, with Saudi Arabia being the most popular destination. At their destination countries, some domestic workers are subjected to various forms of abuse by their employers, leaving the worker without recourse due to the lack of legal structures outlining the rights of domestic workers. This research aims to investigate the motivation to migrate, the experience of the domestic worker once at the destination country, and the sending government’s role to protect its citizens.
To meet these objectives, I have gathered primary data by conducting in-depth interviews with returnees regarding their work experience. I also interviewed a government representative to understand the government’s role in protecting migrant domestic workers, and a recruitment agent to detail the recruitment and migration process. Findings indicate that despite the potential risk for abuse, women are likely to continue migrating to Gulf Countries as they are lured by the international wage differential. Unfortunately, most women end up being paid less than they were promised while in the country of origin, and the little they earn gets remitted back home,leaving them virtually empty handed in the destination country.
Gikuru, Caroline Muthoni, "The Plight of Kenyan Domestic Workers in Gulf Countries" (2013). Master's Theses. 97.
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