Launch of CARE’s latest research puts spotlight on women in Cambodia’s construction sector
9 Sep 2016
Phnom Penh, CAMBODIA, 9 September 2016—Business representatives are gathering in Phnom Penh to hear the findings of a recent study by CARE into the situation of women working in the construction industry.
The event brings together construction companies, business associations and representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training. They will have the opportunity to ask questions about the implications of this study for women employed in this sector and to learn more about CARE’s planned activities to offer support.
CARE’s research paints a comprehensive picture of the situation of women working in construction—estimated to be up to 30% of the workforce. It includes a particular focus on the gender divisions which exist in the sector and how this affects women’s pay, living conditions and overall safety.
“As expected, we have found that these women have little knowledge of the protections or opportunities available to them,” says CARE Cambodia Dignified Work Advisor Adriana Siddle. “Women working in the construction sector often perform the least skilled and lowest paid work, and because of gender stereotypes, they are not given the same opportunities to develop their skills or progress. There is no reason why women should not be valued as employees to the same extent as men. On top of that, much more could be done to improve the protections offered to all employees in the construction industry, both male and female.”
Construction companies are being offered the opportunity to engage with CARE and its partners to ensure their female workers are able to reach their potential. This includes offering training for managers and developing networks of female workers who are trained to educate their friends and co-workers on labour law and life skills relevant to their work.
“We believe supporting women to develop as individuals has the potential to impact their life and work in many ways,” explains Project Manager Kalyan Rath. “Equipping them with vital life skills such as how to manage their money helps prevent women from being vulnerable both at work and in other areas of their life. At the same time, providing opportunities for development will encourage women to become more driven, committed and enthusiastic employees—which obviously makes good business sense for companies wishing to maximise the productive potential of the construction sector’s workforce.”
CARE is also working with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training to make sure that the specific concerns of the women employed in this booming industry are being heard by policymakers.
CARE Cambodia’s work with the construction industry in Cambodia is financially supported by the European Union and the Austrian Development Cooperation. Activities are being conducted in partnership with Cambodian Women for Peace and Development (CWPD), Legal Services for Children and Women (LSCW) and the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia (BWTUC).
The event will take place on Friday 9 September at Phnom Penh Hotel. A summary of research findings will be made available at the event. The research will also be published on CARE Cambodia’s website at www.care-cambodia.org/research.