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Labour Rights for Female Construction Workers (LRFCW)


CARE's EU-funded project Labour Rights for Female Construction Workers aims to address challenges faced by women working in Cambodia’s construction industry.

To illustrate the situation faced by many women employed in the construction industry in Cambodia, CARE is sharing images of strong female workers who share their own personal experiences of working in the sector. 

Channa*, 30, lives at a construction site with her husband and four-year-old son.

“I earn 18 thousand riel a day for labouring and my husband makes 32 thousand riel. I worry about my child living this close to construction but we really don’t have any other choice, both of us are working full time. The concern is that if something happens to my children there is no support from the company; we are responsible for their welfare.”

Sovanna*, 25, has been working in construction for one year and her daughter stays with her.

”The work is so hard and physical and it can be very dangerous. Things fall from the roof all the time. I feel safe at night because my husband is with us. The company offers us health care but I don’t know what would happen if I was seriously injured.”

Mara*, 37, is originally from Prey Veng province.

“I have worked in construction for 10 years, I don’t have any land so I cannot profit from agriculture, this is what I am left with."

Leakhena*, 16, has only worked in construction for 10 days.

“I really need the money to support my family. The accommodation is not so bad here, we all stay on the third floor and there is a shared bathroom. Luckily nothing bad has happened to me but I don’t know if I can continue this work.”

Soriya*, 38, works on a construction site with her daughter.

”I have been working in construction for 2 years now. My daughter and I work very hard, as hard as the men work. I have the same skills the men such as putting cement on the walls; at the end of the day though I am so tired.”

Vanny*, 22, has worked in construction for one year.

”I have one child and now I am pregnant with another child. Now I am pregnant my workload has changed. After the baby is born I will have to return to work but I don’t want to bring my baby to live on the construction site.”

Map*, 50, has been working in construction for nearly a year.

“This is my first job in construction. Back in the provinces I worked in the rice fields but as this work is seasonal I decided to do something more consistent.”


Nary*, 38, has many years of experience in the sector.

”I have a very good relationship with my boss, we have worked together now for 7 years. I have stepped on so many nails in my time but I know it’s just a risk of the job, I use a wound disinfectant to clean and then let it heal.”

Phalla*, 22, has been working on construction sites for three years.

”If something drops on my heads then that’s the will of the gods.”

Savoeun*, 22, moved to Phnom Penh from Kampong Chhnang province.

“I came here 7 months ago with a group of people from my province. I feel comfortable being here with them...Education is out of reach for me now; I just have to work now to help provide for my family.”

Chantry*, 29, has seven years of experience working in construction.

”I feel like my boss looks down on me and I find myself arguing with the men a lot, they lose their temper so quickly and I have received a few threats from them. I have no safety equipment nor do I have access to any form of sanitation or training.”

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Photo credits: CARE/Charles Fox

*Names have been changed to protect identities

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