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Labour Day Photo Exhibition: Women workers share their perspective

CARE Cambodia is marking International Labour Day with an exhibition of photos taken by women working in Cambodia’s construction industry.

The exhibition, titled “I am your sister and I am a construction worker” will open at Meta House on 2 May. The photos show women’s lives onsite and offer a glimpse into their home lives as they celebrate Khmer New Year.

The exhibition acknowledges the contribution of women to construction in Cambodia. It features photographs taken by six women of a range of ages and backgrounds, who have been provided smartphones by CARE Cambodia in order to document their lives as part of the organisations’ Female Construction Workers project.

Song, a construction worker whose photos are displayed in the exhibition, says, “I am so happy to now have a modern phone with a camera and to learn to use this new technology, which I have never used before. I enjoy taking photos every day.”

Women construction workers are often paid less than men for similar work. They also experience the same dangers and precarious employment conditions as other construction workers. Despite this, up to 30% of workers in the construction industry in Cambodia are women.

CARE project manager Kalyan Rath says, “This International Labour Day, it is important to remember that all workers, no matter the industry or their gender, should be respected and valued. Female construction workers are mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. They are so much more than faceless workers who are building apartments and condos.”

The photographers profiled at the exhibition are all women who have engaged with CARE about improving women’s understanding of key areas such as managing their money, health, safety and hygiene, reducing conflict at home and progressing at work. These women are now training other female workers to provide them with knowledge, skills and confidence.

With the financial support of the European Union and the Austrian Development Cooperation, CARE continues to engage with the construction industry about the benefits of addressing gender stereotypes and valuing their women workers.

The photo exhibition is located at Meta House and will run from 2-9 May.

CARE works in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training to ensure safe and secure work environments for women in Cambodia's construction industry with the financial support of the European Union and the Austrian Development Cooperation.

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