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Executive Summary for May 18th

In this week’s executive summary for Women’s Advancement Deeply: Kuwait and the Philippines reach a deal on domestic workers, Kenya rejects equal property splits in divorce, and new evidence on the value of women banking agents in DRC.

Published on May 18, 2018 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Kuwait and Philippines Reach Agreement on Domestic Workers

The Philippines has lifted its ban on overseas workers traveling to Kuwait after a deal was reached between the two countries on the treatment of Filipino employees in the Gulf state.

CNN reports that the new agreement includes a 24-hour hotline for workers, an automatic right for them to contact their families and a ban on recruitment agencies taking a cut of workers’ salaries. Employers will also be prohibited from confiscating the workers’ passports. Disputes will be handled by Kuwait’s Department of Domestic Labor, and authorities will regularly inspect the working conditions of employees.

Relations between the two countries have been strained since the body of a Filipina domestic worker, Joanna Demafelis, was found in her employers’ Kuwait City apartment in February.

There are thought to be 260,000 Filipinos working in Kuwait, 65 percent of whom are domestic workers.

Equal Property in Divorce Struck Down in Kenya

Kenya’s High Court has rejected a case arguing for an equal division of property between parties in a divorce.

The case was brought by the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA), who claimed the current system – which allocates property based on the percentage each party has contributed to the marriage – violated the principles of gender equality enshrined in the constitution.

The FIDA described the ruling as “another sad day for Kenya,” and vowed to fight the judgment.

Women Make the Best Financial Inclusion Agents

Despite facing more hurdles in starting their own businesses, women in the Democratic Republic of Congo are best placed to provide digital and financial services to others, a report from the International Finance Corporation and the Mastercard Foundation has found.

Female agents in Kinshasa carried out 12 percent more transactions per month than men, and reported higher transaction values, pulling in 16 percent more in profit. Most agents run their financial services out of existing businesses, such as convenience stores, tailors or beauty parlors.

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