Report: Beyond Wage Digitization: Financial Capability and Economic Empowerment of Cambodian Women Migrant Workers

Cambodia’s economic development and restructuring of its government that creates such protections for women cannot be ignored considering its very recent history of a devastating genocide that destroyed almost all state and private institutions. Despite this transformation and progress for Cambodian women, they still do not receive the same rights, access and protections as their male counterparts. Here are seven of the most important things to know about the current state of women’s rights in Cambodia. Our study has several limitations that should be considered when interpreting the results. Although retention was high and there were no significant differences between women retained in the study and those lost to follow-up, the sample size was small which limited the power of the multivariate analyses and the precision of our estimates. STI incidence may have been underestimated, as women acquiring infections during follow-up may have sought treatment elsewhere. Data on sexual behaviors and alcohol or drug use on the basis of self-report and by face-to-face interviews may be subject to recall problems and social desirability bias.

Every student in the country wears this same uniform, regardless of province or age — a small nod to the communist history. Their hygiene is better, Phanny says, even though they don’t have access to running water or electricity. Phanny says she’s learned many skills, and she feels more confident that she can care for her children and encourage them in their studies.

Three of Phanny’s children pose and giggle for Holt’s photographer outside their home.The women’s answers are similar to what you might hear anywhere. Both children and parents hope that kids will grow up to be doctors, teachers or policemen. Many children say they hope to work for an NGO like Holt, which shows the meaningful impact Holt sponsors have had on the lives of children in this community.

  • The villagers must still pay “loans” in the form of money, rice, pork, poultry, which no one dares try to avoid.
  • Then the sentry ordered our people to go back to the village immediately.
  • Tens of thousands of people were unjustly arrested, tortured and forced to confess treason.
  • Women Sewing and Creating to support themselves, today, tomorrow and in their futures.
  • Each month, 30 women meet to discuss common hardships, share wisdom about child and animal raising, and add a small amount of money to their savings and loan account.

They live unaware of their legal rights and/or global human rights standards. Holt’s on-the-ground partners 2M2W more on this theme at visit frequently, and share information about keeping children in school, preventing child trafficking and reporting abuse.

Cambodian women who flouted archaic rules are now role models promoting gender equality

More importantly, having the ability to generate income and care for their family gives parents hope for the future­—hope that they pass on to their children. To begin repairing trust among villagers, Holt helped form community groups in every village where we work, open to the mothers or grandmothers of children in child sponsorship. These groups empower women by teaching sustainable agriculture and income-generating skills, creating a community-based savings and loan program, and by teaching women how to work together to solve problems and keep their children safe. Buth, the director of CLA, says that during the Khmer Rouge, the elite exploited the close-knit nature of communities to enslave the peasant class and force them to work for the revolution. As a result, people opted to work individually to protect their rights. Even today, villages are afraid to trust one another — a fear that makes it easier for traffickers to prey on children and more difficult for families to sustain a profitable business. When families fear working together, the whole community suffers.

Visit the Activity Page for Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Safety

But every time they would lock me up and keep me without food for two or three days. Nov Sreyleap, who co-founded the non-profit Lakhon Komnit, which produced the show, says her own family’s violent history made her shut down emotionally until she grew up and started performing as an actor. She wants the women to use theatre to “think for themselves” and open up to one another.

First, it investigates the barriers experienced by sexually exploited Cambodian women when integrating into Christian churches. Second, it explores pastors’ perspectives towards sexually exploited women integrating into churches. Participants’ answers were gathered by the staff of a faith-based non-governmental organization in Cambodia that assists women in exiting the commercial sex industry. The concept of spirituality is important to distinguish, within the context of this study, because it has been found within research to play a meaningful and relevant role in the integration process. Several important discoveries were made at the completion of the study. The pastors’ surveys revealed that respondents were extremely open to reach out to sexually exploited women; however, understanding how to strategically accomplish this was a significant barrier. Another major discovery revealed that the majority of the women listed job commitments and family as the predominant barriers to attending church when integrating into the community.

“We call ourselves the brave women because everyone has to be brave and speak up,” she says. Sitting in a circle on a large, green tarp under the shade of cashew nut trees, many of the women sit with their legs bent under them to one side, calves parallel, in the way so natural to Cambodians. It’s bright and hot, and little clouds of dust rise under the fidgeting feet of the children lingering to watch.

In August, two dozen female vegetable farmers and staff members from Banteay Srei, a local nonprofit focused on women’s self-empowerment, participated in trainings held in the Cambodian provinces of Siem Reap and Battambang. During the day-long workshops, women worked together to identify their personal strengths and conduct risk assessments of the vegetable value chain, learning how their leadership and collective action can improve food safety in their communities. Research and advocacy projects are also undertaken in support of specific objectives regarding the protection of women’s and children’s rights. For example CWDA has conducted research together with the Cambodian Prostitutes’ Union on Human Rights abuses of prostitutes in Toul Kork. The survey was significant because it was done by the women concerned themselves. It was a rare study that was done by, not about, prostitutes and their lives, working conditions, suffering in the hands of police and clients. The women themselves made recommendations to the government and to society about what should be done to improve their situation.

About 80% agreed that men and women should share those tasks equally. Still, because the majority of women work outside the home, domestic tasks create a “double burden” in which they’re under pressure to perform at their jobs and then work more at home.

The carnival atmosphere in village T was quite out of the ordinary. Over there, they piled up the rice; over there they cut down trees and plants for the decorations. On that day the people from the neighboring villages came to village T in large numbers, some bringing poultry with them, some bringing vegetables. Festival music could be heard from the end of the village to the other. Many other such examples demonstrate the political responsibility of women in Cambodia. While carrying out their national duty, the women of Cambodia are also well aware of their international obligations. The primordial task which lies before them is to stand in the front line against imperialism, particularly U.S. imperialism.

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