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Women are driving economic growth, PM and ministers say

Sum Manet / Khmer Times Share:
A women selling silk products in Phnom Penh. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Leaders from the highest echelons of government spoke yesterday on the role of women in Cambodian society, emphasising their contribution to the country’s economic and social development.

In a speech to commemorate the 107th International Women’s Day yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said women are an essential part of the local economy, and added that his government continues to work to reduce the gender gap in the country.

“We have done a good job at promoting equality,” the premier said. “For example, in 2016, Cambodia was ranked 112 among 144 countries for gender equality. Last year, we climbed to position 99.”

“We will continue our work to promote women’s work,” he added

Thong Khon, the Minister of Tourism, said women’s role in the tourism sector should not be overlooked or downplayed.

“Currently, women make up 60 percent of the labour in the tourism sector, including accommodation and entertainment services, which is strong indication that they are indispensable stakeholders and major contributors to the economic development of the nation,” he said.

Kan Channmeta, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, lamented the small number of women taking up roles in the technology industry.

“So far, we have seen very few Cambodian women working in this field, despite the fact that they are highly creative and very competent.

“To encourage their participation, we need to introduce more programmes that specifically target women. We hope this will inspire more and more Cambodian women to join the tech sector,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) issued a statement, in where it pointed out that about 90 percent of the workforce in the country’s garment and footwear industry are women.

“Female workers in the sector earn an income for themselves and their families. They are the backbone of this industry and help support the jobs of millions of Cambodians,” the statement said.

“Women who work in this sector are considered heroic women who drive the national economy and help reduce poverty in the country.”

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