Women Storm Agent Premises Over Failed Saudi Jobs

Cabinet Secretary Labour & Social Protection, Simon Chelugui speaks during a press conference.
  • A group of women on Monday, August 30 rose up in protest after being held in a house in Kiambu for two months under the promise they would be flown to Saudi Arabia for informal jobs. 

    They started chanting songs of rebellion after they grew tired of living away from home while awaiting employment from the labour agent. 

    They told journalists that they were lured by the agent after which they surrendered their formal documents. 

    Cabinet Secretary Labour & Social Protection, Simon Chelugui speaks during a press conference.

    They lamented that they have been stuck at the premises for two months with no money and no communication from the agent who has since taken their Identity Cards. 

    “We have asked the woman (agent) why she called us to the premises, yet you are not picking up our calls, leaving us stranded with no communication whatsoever.”

    “We want her to give us the Identification Cards that she took from us as we want to go back home,†one of the women lamented.  

    They cited that even after telling the agent that they were no longer interested in the promised jobs, the agent never gave feedback leaving them stranded in the compound not knowing where to go. 

    They initially came from Mombasa then taken to Nairobi before being taken to their current abode in Limuru. 

    The group’s case was brought to the attention of a Human Rights Organisation which came to the aid of the women. 

    “We have no problem with our ladies going to the gulf countries, the major problem is that of their protection and safety as we have received many complains of the ladies being abused or mistreated.†Njoki Macharia, an official at Haki Africa, stated. 

    This comes in amidst plans by officials from the National Government to fly to Saudi Arabia to iron out mistreatment claims, which have led to the death of 97 girls under mysterious circumstances in a span of three years. 

    There are over 97,000 Kenyans working and living in Saudi Arabia. 

    In the past, there have been countless cases of violence, torture and even death of Kenyan women working in Saudi Arabia. 

    Many of them go to the Gulf to work but often they end up being exploited in domestic servitude or forced manual labour.

    A police car in Kenya
    A police car in Kenya.