CAMBODIA: Less Power for Cambodian Women, Report Says

Monday, June 18, 2012
Voice of America
South Eastern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Cambodian women have fewer opportunities than men, and less access to economic and political positions of power, a World Bank report says.

Women in Cambodia and other countries in East Asia and the Pacific do have more economic access and business ownership than in some Western countries, but they have less power in family, politics and civil society, the report says. Women also face a greater risk of human trafficking in the region, according to the report.

In Cambodia, women earn $0.75 to every dollar a man earns, said Andrew Mason, a co-author of the report, “Entitling Toward Gender Equality in East Asia and the Pacific.”

“As in Thailand, we've seen a very high level of female labor-force participation in Cambodia, but we also see very high levels of unpaid family labor in agriculture,” he said.

Mason also noted the high number of women in the garment sector, Cambodia's top economic driver.

Hun Phanna, director of the Women's Development Association, said Cambodian women have less income and less opportunity than men, especially in the rural areas.

The World Bank recommends that Cambodia prioritize gender in economic development and strengthen the role of women in public positions.