Cambodia is one of the world’s least developed countries. One fifth of the population live below the national poverty line.
Gender inequality in Cambodia is significant. Women struggle to break into positions of power. Sexist ideas about gender roles keep them from enjoying equal power with men. Currently women hold less than one-fifth of all elected positions across local and national government in Cambodia.
Many women in Cambodia struggle to find safe, well-paying work. In the capital city of Phnom Penh, the rate of unemployment of women is twice what it is for men. Women are often forced to choose jobs that are low-paying, dangerous and unregulated.
Nine out of ten employees of Cambodia’s $5 billion garment industry are women. Usually young women living away from their families for work, they make clothing for popular global brands. In the factories they face sexual harassment, dangerous working conditions, pregnancy discrimination and more. The minimum wage for a garment worker is US$128 per month. Often, these young women garment workers are not able to enjoy their right to power over their lives and communities.
Women face high levels of violence in Cambodia. Over 20% of women over the age of 15 have experienced physical violence. Although Cambodia has a domestic violence law, many women and men have never heard of it. Women with disabilities face particular discrimination and are at high risk of family violence.
A few achievements of IWDA and our partners last year
garment workers attended forums about their rights at work
women and girls were supported by the Banteay Srei Safe House
Cambodian fellows deepened their understanding of gender and disability through a month-long fellowship in Australia
population of Cambodia
year of independence from France
years of Khmer Rouge rule
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