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While the employment of migrant domestic workers in the oil-producing countries of the Arabian Peninsula is well-known, few people know that also in a poor country like Yemen mainly migrant women are employed as domestics. Why is there a demand for paid domestic labour in Yemen and who fills this demand?

Deeqa came as a refugee from Somalia, leaving her four children behind; Ethiopian Hiwot joined her sister who was already working in Yemen; and Helen, who is of mixed Ethiopian/Eritrean descent, came via an illegal recruitment agent. They share the type of work, but have different stories to tell...