GMAC honours female workers

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Prime Mininster Hun Sen poses with pregnant garment workers. Fresh News

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia yesterday said women working in the garment and textile sector were heroines, adding that it supported efforts to prevent and fight against all forms of rights abuses toward women.

For the 107th anniversary of International Women’s Day today, GMAC said the rights of women in Cambodia were protected and all forms of abuse and exploitation of women were fought against.

“About 90 percent of the workforce in the garment and textile sector, the country’s number one export revenue earner, is women,” a GMAC statement said.

“The female workers in this sector are earning incomes to support their families and as a result, are helping grow other supporting industries, creating and increasing business activities for about two million Cambodian people.”

It added that the women working in this sector are heroines who are making an important contribution to the economy and in reducing poverty.

“Women working in the garment industry are heroines, promoting the national economy and helping reduce poverty in Cambodia,” it said. “GMAC wants to continue promoting women’s rights and supports all efforts to prevent and fight against all kinds of rights abuses.”

The theme for International Women’s Day this year is “Women together to protect the peace for national development”.

Labour Minister Ith Samheng, whose ministry celebrated International Women’s Day on Tuesday, said peace was important to allow further development of all sectors.

He added conflict and violence were obstacles to the country’s economic and social progress, and also affected people’s physical and emotional well-being.

“I observe that nowadays, women can develop and improve themselves in order to join in social work, from workers to the highest positions and roles in the government, National Assembly and also the Senate,” Mr Samheng said.

According to the minister, 21 percent of Cambodian women have been on the receiving end of physical and sexual violence while another 32 percent have been abused psychologically.

“In order to have sustainable peace and to prevent violence in society, we need to eliminate all forms of violence, and work together to maintain a culture of non-violence,” he added.

Minister of Women’s Affairs Ung Kanthaphavy said in a video posted on the ministry’s website that women were necessary to make society prosper.

She said Cambodia was far ahead in the process of empowering women, and the country was on the right track in making men more aware of women’s contributions to society.

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