It’s estimated that as many as one in three construction workers in Cambodia are women, but they are not receiving equal pay or protections compared to their male coworkers, internal preliminary research from CARE Cambodia has found.
The research found that women get paid an estimated $3 to $5 per day, compared to about $5 to $7 per day for men, said Adriana Siddle, a dignified work adviser with CARE.
The research, conducted last June, will help guide a CARE project that will educate and train 3,000 women over the next three years on sexual harassment, gender discrimination and their rights under the Labour Law, Siddle said.
“We are hoping to see an improvement in safety and equality in the workplace for women,” she said.
According to CARE project manager Kalyan Rath, less attention is being paid to issues faced by women in the construction industry.
“Women in garment factories are covered by the minimum wage prakas, and many stakeholders, such as the [International Labour Organization] are working to enforce labour standards in factories,” Rath said.
“It appears that women in construction don’t have these protections.”
The inequality finding came as no surprise to Sok Kin, leader of the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia.
“Women are discriminated [against]; they work on the same tasks, but they don’t get the same pay as men.”