Oxfam Cambodia and the Ministry of Women's Affairs have united to identify women's needs in order to integrate family care and social safety, with the goal of empowering women in their occupations.
Speaking at a forum today on “Promoting Women Entrepreneurship in ASEAN through Social Protection and Family Care Policies”, Minister of Women's Affairs, Ing Kanthaphavy said the forum will provide a chance to fully understand the ASEAN framework's unpaid care and social protection policies.
“Through the sharing of lessons gained from our speakers, the Ministry of Women's Affairs and stakeholders will gather thoughts and ideas to develop a defined path for future policy intervention of this key milestone,” she said.
Phean Sophoan, National Director of Oxfam Cambodia, said that Social Protection and Family Care Policies are critical in assisting the Royal Government of Cambodia's efforts to minimize gender inequality and alleviate poverty in Cambodia, particularly among women.
“Oxfam and its partners will continue to support the government in reducing poverty and strengthening gender equality in Cambodia,” she added.
According to a recent study, the global value of domestic unpaid labour performed by women is estimated to be $10 trillion per year. During the Covid-19 epidemic, a UN assessment revealed that domestic work conducted by Cambodian women rose by up to 20 percent, whereas domestic work performed by males increased by just 10 percent.
The pay gap between men and women in Cambodia and across the region is also an important problem that should not be overlooked. According to certain study findings, women are paid 25 percent less than males for doing the same job, and the majority of women working in the informal sector spend the majority of their time on home tasks and caring for family members.
The Chhunhak, Deputy Director General, Gender Equality and Economic Development at the Ministry of Women's Affairs, said the forum will allow him to better understand the needs of women from other stakeholders. However, no budget has been established as of yet, he added.
“We'll figure out how to bring families together to share the burden of women including housework, allowing women to be completely empowered. This point is bigger than the budget,” he said. “This is a change of mindset and attitude to support them.”
People can be conscious of women's needs in public settings and research ways to support them with infant care, nursing homes, and other services. This is a pertinent partner-level solution that can benefit women as a whole, he added.
“So, we will be able to create a master plan as a result of the workshop,” he said.
The forum was attended by 200 participants in person and 500 virtual participants via Zoom, including leaders and representatives from line ministries/departments, sub-national administration, diplomats and development partners, civil society organizations, women entrepreneurs and self-employed unions, and national and international guests.