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Female Employment in Cambodia

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Four emerging trends are of particular concern in promoting women’s economic empowerment in Cambodia: (i) the predominantly young population and the growing number of labor force entrants, which pose a challenge to providing decent work for all; (ii) competition from more highly skilled labor in neighboring countries given regional integration; (iii) increased volatility of employment with a high reliance on export markets that are vulnerable to global shocks; and (iv) vulnerability to climate change, which particularly affects agriculture.

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However, some people state that the gender inequality in Cambodia is shaped by biology. Women are physically born weaker than men so mostly they are responsible for mothering work such as deliver and to look after the babies, and stay at home to do housework while men go out for work and become breadwinner, so men have power to control the family. This point has some merit on the surface. However, pregnant is only a temporary time for women to produce the baby, and this time they can do some house work. Then, after they deliver the baby, they can go out for work as the men do such as a teacher, a doctor, an architecture, etc

According to the four aspects such as family, education, workplace, and politics that have mentioned above, we can analyze that culture is an essential factor that causes the gender inequality between men and women. Women have to do housework and to give birth, so they do not have chance to be educated which becomes the obstacle for them to find a well paid job. Moreover, because of the education of women still in limit, their participant in politic is also in a small number. Actually, it is really hard for women to change their culture without any supporting from men. As a result, in order to motivate people to understand more about gender inequality effectively, both government and non-government organizations need to be strongly facilitated in making policy to encouraging women knowing their right of sharing and making decision. Moreover, he has to develop the laws for violence against women, and provide more motivate girl to be educated, women to join literacy program that can help them to build up their social values, so that it will develop the country because we have enough human resources. Men and women are the two elements which are inseparable from one another. They both are like the left and right hands of a country. Without one of them, a country’s development will be stuck. Moreover, women also should accept the opportunity that provided by the men.

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The Constitution of Cambodia has enshrined equal rights for women in all modes of education and careers in Articles 48, 63, 65, 66, 67 and 68. The RGC was also a signatory to the 1990 Declaration of Education for All, and committed to the United Nations Millennium goals to raise educational standards. Nevertheless the chasm between theory and practice has yet to be breached. In 1990, the adult male and female literacy rate was 78% and 49% respectively. This grew to 80% and 57% in 2000 but literacy remains alarming low for women in Cambodia compared to the rates found in other Asian countries. In 2003, Oxfam GB claimed that only 22% of Cambodia women could read a newspaper or write a simple letter. There are discrepancies between the various sources citing literacy indicators, but a general consensus that lack of education for women is a serious problem. Primary School The Constitution states that children between the ages of six and sixteen will receive a minimum of nine years compulsory education

However, many girls and significantly rural students, are either never enrolled in primary education or fail to complete their elementary studies. Three key factors explicate the low numbers of girls receiving primary education. The first factor is rooted in traditional stereotyping of women. In rural areas women are expected to undertake domestic work around the home and hence the efficacy of educating girls is neither understood nor perhaps accepted. In some instances education is even viewed as a hindrance to women as some men may not wish to marry an educated woman. Therefore in poor households priority is given to educating sons rather than daughters, who can be kept home to assist in domestic chores (Gender in Poverty Reduction, 2003).

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In sum, increased assistance to monitor, track, and report back on the outputs of the judicial system, especially with relation to crimes against women, would increase the accountability of the judicial system. This would be especially effective if reporting was to a high level body that could follow up. The culture of silence surrounding violence will be lifted if women see and hear of offenders being punished, and offenders see that prosecution and sentencing are likely consequences. As the number of reported cases increases, systems need to be developed to document and monitor the quality of action taken by the police and courts.

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Corruption and Sexual Exploitation, (Speech delivered by Dr. Kek Galabru for LICADHO, Watt Botam, December 2001)

Enforcement of the Laws: Obstacles and How They Might Be Overcome. Seminar on Legal Protection and Law Enforcement in Trafficking Women and Children, (Speech delivered by Dr. Kek Galabru for LICADHO, Phnom Penh, November 2000).

Facilitating CEDAW Implementation towards the Realisation of Women’s Human Rights in Southeast Asia, (United Nations Development Fund for Women & CIDA, 2004)

Gender in Poverty Reduction, (NGO Sectoral and Issues Papers on Poverty Reduction and Development in Cambodia, 2003)

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