Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lack of female leaders in health sector: brief



Lack of female leaders in health sector: brief

A female doctor performs a gynaecological exam in 2016. A new brief notes women are underrepresented in the health sector.
A female doctor performs a gynaecological exam in 2016. A new brief notes women are underrepresented in the health sector. Athena Zelandonii

Lack of female leaders in health sector: brief

Only one in five leadership positions at the Ministry of Health are held by women, despite women constituting the majority of the country’s more than 19,000 health care workers, according to a policy brief published this week.

Furthermore, only 16 percent of senior health care workers – such as doctors – are female, compared to 100 percent of midwifes, according to the brief, titled Promoting women’s leadership in post-conflict health sector in Cambodia and published by an international research consortium at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The brief also noted that women have fewer opportunities, compared to men, to train for new positions. “This is problematic for several reasons,” it reads.

“Women’s concerns, for example, are not reflected in health policies . . . Human resource policies, such as those related to career advancement, do not take into account women’s life course events, such as childbearing and childcare.”

In the Kingdom, most women prefer to be cared for by female health workers, and the shortage of female doctors limits women’s access to services, it adds.

Ly Sovann, spokesman for the Health Ministry, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Chum Sopha, executive director of the NGO Health and Development Alliance, said the findings in the brief were problematic and reflected reality, but noted that some of that inequality may have to do with the country’s traditions and history of instability.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Time to Rise by rapper, chapei legend is viral hit with ancient-modern mix

    Kong Nay is known internationally as the master of the chapei dang veng, a traditional Cambodian instrument resembling a long-necked lute or guitar with two nylon strings that he was already playing professionally by the age of 15. Nay is sometimes referred to as the Cambodian

  • Cambodia set for large-scale vaccination campaign as Covid spreads

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed all provincial authorities to get ready for a large-scale vaccination campaign, with at least one million doses to be administered per month. “We will roll out at least one million doses. The vaccines we have purchased and received as