Despite Cambodia’s growing economy, Cambodian women are still facing many challenges in obtaining their right to economic opportunities. As of 2018, adult women who have completed high school constitute only 15% of the total women population.
Recently, many feminist and women empowerment movements have gained traction in the country. Various organizations and institutions, especially those that are led by women are pushing initiatives that support women to better their education and career development.
So why does Cambodia need women’s empowerment?
There is evidence that by encouraging women to participate in economic activities, the country’s economy can see an increase in growth by11.9% compared to the current projection of GDP with less women engagement, by 2025.
Improving gender equality, allowing women to earn higher income which encourages them to invest more in education, childcare and their education, health and nutrition – all of which are beneficial in supporting the economy.
Currently, both public and private sectors are working hard to support the development of women’s human capital. Moreover, the government is also designing financial services that are more inclusive and sustainable for women, especially marginalized communities such as small shop vendors, family business’s owners and farmers etc.
Beside increasing women’s skill and financial capacities, it’s also crucial to provide accessible education as well. Cambodian women find it hard to qualify for a number of opportunities due to low education and literacy rate. Girls in the rural area are also likely to drop out of school early due to lack of resources, family responsibility and societal pressure. The Ministry of Women Affair has been working hard in this aspect to help alleviate women from poverty and ensuring they can obtain the education necessary to be empowered to participate in the formal economy.
Cambodia can still do so much to extend its economic opportunities to marginalized, vulnerable and every woman in general. By designing policy that focuses on improving gender equality, Cambodia will be able to see the economical benefits that are brought by the contribution of empowered women, transforming into a society that provides equal access to all.
Lead a healthy financial life with us