Since January this year, CARE Cambodia and partners have been undertaking the Labour Rights for Female Construction Workers Project, funded by the EU and the Austrian Development Cooperation.
Yet who are female construction workers? And why should CARE and construction companies assist them? Initial research for the project reveals some insights.
The majority of female construction workers are married with children, and working on constructions sites with their families. They are mostly over 30, a much older cohort than other female workers in other unskilled occupations, such as the garment or entertainment industries. Most women working in construction have little education and have migrated to work in Phnom Penh because they are poor. CARE’s research identifies that these women workers have little knowledge of their rights or protections.
Both women working in the industry and employers report that women bring particular skills to the work they do. “Women are good at detailed tasks such as tying metal rods together neatly and they work faster than men.”
“Some of women working here can mix cement very well, better than men. They are very organised, put away materials after they complete their work, and they clean well.”
Despite this, nine in ten female construction workers report that they don’t get paid as much as men and many report that the jobs they do are not the same as men. Roles, responsibilities and rights are different between men and women working in the construction sector and this has implications for both workers and employers.
CARE’s training, delivered in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, explores these issues. It covers the topics of: gender and culture, labour rights, rights for women, and occupational safety. Attendees will gain greater insights into the situation of their female workers, and may learn of ways that women can be both protected as employees and encouraged to work to their full potential.
The next training will be held on 25 October and places are limited. More information is available in both English and Khmer. Further sessions will be held in November and December. To reserve a place for your company, please contact Ms Eat Sopheak on 012 721 321 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Training will be in Khmer.
If you would like more information about CARE’s project, please contact the Project Manager, Ms Kalyan Rath, at email@example.com or Adviser, Ms Adriana Siddle, at firstname.lastname@example.org.