Dignified work for female hospitality, tourism and entertainment workers
Women working in the hospitality, tourism and entertainment industry in Cambodia perceive a regular and daily risk of sexual harassment in and around the workplace. Sexual harassment, a form of violence against women, takes place in the context of deeply entrenched cultural norms, which punish women for failing to live up ideals of chastity and obedience. Women working in the hospitality, tourism and entertainment sector may be seen to have contravened those norms, and thus shown less respect.
However, every woman has the right to live a life free from violence including freedom from sexual harassment in her workplace.
In Phnom Penh, about one in ten women who move to the city, migrate to work as a service or entertainment worker. These women are often low skilled and without social supports, but they have made an active choice to earn an income and deserve the protections of a safe workplace. Yet lack of awareness of workers’ rights and women’s rights may prevent this.
New government regulation in 2014 and new worker’s rights programs for this sector shows that momentum for change is gathering. There is movement to get this largely informal sector under the remit of the Labour Law. However, the law does not adequately address sexual harassment, and there is a lack of awareness of what sexual harassment is, why it must stop, and what can be done about it.
That is why CARE and SABC have worked to find individual and outlet level solutions: greater confidence, skills and knowledge for women so they can protect themselves; and workplace level policies and procedures to ensure sexual harassment is prevented and responded to if it occurs. CARE and SABC will continue to advocate for better legal protections, to achieve systemic change.
To facilitate the empowerment of female workers in the hospitality, tourism and entertainment sector to protect themselves through the Solidarity Association of Beer Promoters Cambodia’s (SABC) tested and proven peer training curriculum.
To engage the private sector, particularly on preventing and responding to sexual harassment in the workplace.
To strengthen the capacity of the executive committee of SABC and peer leaders so that the organisation can continue to grow, increase their networks and gain a stronger advocacy position.
Peer training to women workers
Outreach to private sectors
Organsational capacity building
August 2017 - July 2018
1,000 women workers in the hospitality, tourism and entertainment sector
20 peer leaders of SABC, who are themselves workers in this sector
10 executive committee or core members of SABC
40 outlet owners or managers
38 judicial police in 9 districts across Phnom Penh
2,000 members of the general population, including men and boys.