Project plans to address challenges faced by women working in Cambodia’s construction industry
30 Apr 2016
CARE Cambodia is marking International Labour Day by highlighting its latest project to support women employed in vulnerable urban occupations, focusing on women in construction.
As many as 1 in 3 workers on construction sites are estimated to be female, yet CARE’s research has found that women are often placed at a disadvantage. CARE’s latest EU-funded project will engage with women employed in the sector with the aim of ensuring they receive equal recognition at work alongside their male peers.
To raise awareness of the situation faced by many women on a daily basis, CARE is releasing a selection of portraits of women who work in construction. These show the diverse range of individuals employed in this booming sector. Some women share how their work is less valued than that of the men around them. Others speak of the challenges of living on-site or raising children while working in this sector.
“Women offer a lot to the Cambodian construction industry, yet their skills and experience are not appropriately acknowledged or rewarded. We have seen examples of women with years of experience in construction still being paid at the lowest levels,” says CARE Cambodia’s Dignified Work Advisor Adriana Siddle. “As with many occupations, women’s contributions are incorrectly viewed as less valuable.
“Women living and working on construction sites often have additional responsibilities to care for children and perform unpaid home duties. This additional burden is often overlooked by employers in this sector, as it is more generally for women workers in many fields.”
CARE is currently developing educational material for female workers which will focus on improving women’s understanding of gender relations,, sexual harassment and financial independence. The training will be delivered directly to workers by partner organisation Cambodian Women for Peace and Development. CARE is also working with the Building and Woodworkers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia to encourage female representation.
CARE will also engage with construction companies and contractors on topics such as gender discrimination and the business benefits of valuing their women workers.
CARE’s partner Legal Services for Children and Women is in the process of setting up a technical working with the aim of linking the sector with relevant ministries to ensure the voices of female construction workers are heard at the highest levels.
This initiative builds upon CARE’s ongoing efforts in other urban sectors, such as the garment and entertainment industries.