Lighthouse Club Cambodia held a fundraising event to mark International Women’s Day while also advocating for gender equity, especially in the construction sector.
The event, which was supported by COVA and the global International Women’s Day campaign under the theme #EmbraceEquity, saw hundreds of people gather at Baitong Hotel’s Lantern Bar in Phnom Penh for an evening of entertainment, empowering talks, networking and a raffle.
Speaking at the event, Annabella Thomson, secretary of Lighthouse Club Cambodia and a member of the Lighthouse Women in Construction committee, which was formed at the end of 2022, said the goal for creating the women’s group was to provide a forum where professional women in Cambodia’s construction industry can meet to exchange ideas.
She added, “I hope that our Women in Construction group will go some way towards bringing equity to the construction industry here, an industry that globally has always been traditionally male dominated.
“Our committee members have already met with other Lighthouse Women in Construction chapters from around the region and UK and we strongly believe our group will be able to work together to help forward our united goals.”
In line with the theme of gender equity, Alice Dork, head of marketing at Zuellig Pharma Cambodia, recalled growing up in Ratanakiri. ”I was raised in a conservative family in a rural area in Ratanakiri province where gender equity existed on paper only.
“Daughters and sons were treated differently. Sons were allowed to access university, and daughters were supposed to get married and have babies once they grew up. As a small girl, I used to fight with my father for gender equality, and use my savings to access university.”
Lighthouse Club is an international organisation with chapters worldwide. It started in 1956 in England and entered Asia in 1986, with a head office in Hong Kong. It has been present in Cambodia since 2010.
The aim of the club is to provide a network within the construction industry and support to anyone who is injured or in need of help. Since the Cambodian branch started, it has sponsored more than 50 students’ education and given them the chance to enter the construction industry on graduation.
Ben Whitrod, co-chairman of Lighthouse Club Cambodia, said funds raised at all of the club’s events support three main areas of activity. In addition to the scholarships, it provides emergency support to the construction community who are experiencing hard times and families of construction workers who face hefty hospital bills due to an on-site accident.
“We are also constantly trying to improve the standards of health and safety on the building sites of Cambodia,” he added.