សារគន្លឹះ / Key Messages:
- ខណៈពេលដែលប្រទេសកម្ពុជាទទួលបានអត្ថប្រយោជន៍ពីអត្រាខ្ពស់នៃការចូលរួមកម្លាំងពលកម្មរបស់ស្ត្រី អត្រាប្រាក់ឈ្នួលនិងសន្តិសុខការងារនៅតែមានគម្លាតគួរឱ្យកត់សម្គាល់នៅឡើយ ក៏ដូចជាគំរូយេនឌ័រដែលបែងចែកតាមវិស័យ បង្ហាញឱ្យឃើញថាការធ្វើអន្តរាគមន៍យេនឌ័រមិនគួរធ្វើត្រឹមតែឱ្យមានចំនួនស្ត្រីច្រើននោះទេ គឺគួរតែផ្តោតលើគុណភាពនៃឱកាសសម្រាប់ស្ត្រីនៅក្នុងកម្លាំងពលកម្មផងដែរ។
- គម្លាតទាំងនេះបង្ហាញថា គោលដៅដែលត្រូវធ្វើអន្តរាគមន៍ដើម្បីដោះស្រាយការបែងចែកការងារ វិសមភាពនៃការអប់រំ ក៏ដូចជាភាពលម្អៀងក្នុងការជួលបុគ្គលិក និងដំណើរការដំឡើងតួនាទី គឺពិតជាមានភាពចាំបាច់។
- ស្ត្រីត្រូវប្រឈមមុខនឹងឧបសគ្គមួយចំនួន ក្នុងការទទួលបានលក្ខខណ្ឌការងារគំរូដែលអនុញ្ញាតឱ្យពួកគេធ្វើការដោយជាប់លាប់ ហើយភាគច្រើនស្ត្រីធ្វើការងារដែលមានប្រាក់ឈ្នួលទាប ឬមានមុខតំណែងដែលមិនសូវមានសុវត្ថិភាពការងារ។
- ការធ្វើអន្តរាគមន៍របស់រដ្ឋាភិបាលក្នុងការដោះស្រាយឱ្យមាន កន្លែងធ្វើការដែលមានសុវត្តិភាពជាងមុន ការឧបត្ថម្ភប្រាក់លើការថែទាំកុមារ ប្រាក់ឈ្នួលខ្ពស់ និងការបង្កើនសន្តិសុខនៅកន្លែងធ្វើការ អាចរួមចំណែកច្រើនដល់កំណើនសេដ្ឋកិច្ច។
- ការកាត់បន្ថយគម្លាតនេះតាមរយៈអន្តរាគមន៍ឯកទេសដែលផ្តោតលើស្ត្រីក្រីក្រ ស្ត្រីងាយរងគ្រោះ ស្ត្រីដែលមានជំនាញទាប និងស្ត្រីដែលមានបន្ទុកថែទាំកុមារ អាចបង្កើនក្ដីសង្ឃឹម និងឱកាសជោគជ័យផ្នែកសេដ្ឋកិច្ចរបស់ពួកគេ ខណៈដែលកម្ពុជាខិតខំដើម្បីក្លាយជាប្រទេសដែលមានចំណូលមធ្យមកម្រិតខ្ពស់។
- While Cambodia already benefits from high rates of women’s labour force participation, notable gaps in wages rates and job security, as well as gendered patterns of sectoral segregation suggest that gender interventions should go beyond the aggregate numbers and focus on the quality of opportunities available to women in the labour force.
- These gaps suggest that targeted interventions to address occupational segregation, educational disparities, as well as biases in hiring and promotion processes are needed.
- Women face specific barriers in obtaining ideal working conditions that would allow them to work more consistently, and women are disproportionately in lower wage jobs or positions with less job security.
- Government intervention in addressing safer workplaces, childcare subsidies, higher wages and increased security in the workplace could contribute to significant economic growth.
- Reducing this gap through specialised interventions targeting poor women, vulnerable women, women with low skills and women with significant childcare burdens can increase their economic prospects and viability as Cambodia strives to become an upper-middle income country.
With Cambodia’s vision to become a upper-middle income country by 2030, it’s critical to analyse women’s barriers in contributing to the country’s gross domestic product, or GDP. Cambodian women are a crucial part of the roadmap to the country’s Vision 2030, as well as the Royal Cambodian Government’s (RGC) Pentagonal Strategy. The Pentagonal Strategy addresses “supporting growth and economic modernization” and “building human capital with a particular focus on the quality of education,” both of which include under-utilised catalysts that can be used to drive women forward in Cambodia.
Women have historically been key contributors to the Cambodian economy, with relatively high rates of labour force participation. Cambodian women constitute a diverse workforce contributing to various industries. At the same time, the overall numbers do not tell the whole story: gender gaps in wages, job security and within different sectors suggest not only strengths, but also opportunities to improve. With their strong labour force participation rates, women are already contributing to the Cambodian economy: they just need government support in opportunities for higher wages, secure employment, better working conditions and improved access to quality public services.
Notably, Cambodia has a relatively small gender gap in labour force participation, especially compared to other countries in the region and at the same level of economic development. According to the World Bank’s Gender Portal Data, in 2022, women’s labour force participation rate was 69.6 percent, compared to men’s labour force participation of 82.1 percent. This gender gap in labour force participation rate is substantially smaller than the average for lower- middle income countries, where women’s labour force participation rate is as low 33.4 percent, compared to men’s labour force participation rate of 73.3 percent.
In terms of overall gender gaps in labour force participation, the country is already well-prepared for Cambodia Vision 2030. Cambodia’s gender gap is smaller than the average in upper-middle income countries, where women’s labour force participation is 56 percent, compared to men’s at 73.5 percent. Similarly, the average labour force participation rate for high-income countries is 54 percent for women and 68 percent for men, yielding a gender gap of 1.5 percent more than Cambodia.
Despite the admirable progress in increasing women’s labour force participation and closing the overall gender gap, there is still important work to be done in distribution of employment opportunities. While women are indeed contributing to the Cambodian economy at higher rates relative to other countries in the region and in the same income categories, these total numbers can mask disparities within occupations.
Understanding the factors contributing to this disparity is essential for designing targeted interventions. The data reveals a pattern of occupational segregation, where men and women are concentrated in different industries and sectors. Women are often overrepresented in sectors such as textiles and garments, while men dominate industries like construction and manufacturing. This segregation contributes to gender-based wage gaps and limits career advancement opportunities for women.
Another clear area where progress can be made is in reducing the gender wage gap, which is larger than the labour force participation gap, suggesting that while women are participating at high rates relative to men, they are taking lower-paying jobs. The percentage of women in wage and salaried positions remains well below the percentage of men in similar employment. Women also tend to be employed more in vulnerable jobs with low pay and difficult working conditions. Factors such as occupational segregation, educational disparities and biases in hiring and promotion processes contribute to this wage gap, highlighting the need for targeted policy measures.
Challenges to closing these gender gaps in wages and employment opportunities include limited access to formal employment, inadequate maternity support and cultural norms that impact career progression. Addressing these challenges requires a multi-faceted approach, involving both public and private sector initiatives to create a more inclusive and supportive work environment. Closing these gaps will see an improvement in Cambodia’s economy as it becomes an upper-middle and high-income country.
Women are already an important foundation of economic growth in Cambodia. Their strong labour force participation provides a unique opportunity moving towards Cambodia Vision 2030, especially if we look beyond the aggregate numbers and design interventions to close the gender gaps among wage and salaried jobs, as well as gender gaps in job security. Women are already contributing to the Cambodian economy: investing in their skills and opportunities will allow them to contribute to a broader range of sectors and advance their opportunities for higher wages and more secure employment.
In order to ensure women’s productivity rates reach their full potential in the Cambodian context, government and private sector actors should provide adequate support. From the country’s already strategic position, interventions such as early science, technology, engineering and mathematics education for girls can improve their career prospects as they age into the workforce. Additionally, skills training which targets women or provides subsidised classes in training programmes, which may also include childcare, could have a significantly higher success rate in retention of women in high-skilled jobs.
Advancement of women in the workplace into higher-paying roles that shrink the gender wage gap will contribute to the overall GDP of Cambodia, including providing a more educated workforce to innovate, invest and drive forward the country’s economy. For Cambodia to become an upper-middle income country by 2030 and a high-middle income country by 2050, utilisation of women in safe and well-paid workplaces with opportunity for growth is imperative.
WorldBank. (n.d.). World Bank Gender Data Portal. https://genderdata.worldbank.org/