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Country Profile: Cambodia. Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl Poverty and Inequality Over 33% of Cambodia’s 14 million people live on less than $1.

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Presentation on theme: "Country Profile: Cambodia. Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl Poverty and Inequality Over 33% of Cambodia’s 14 million people live on less than $1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Country Profile: Cambodia

2 Amsterdam, The Netherlands Poverty and Inequality Over 33% of Cambodia’s 14 million people live on less than $1 per day. The population is 80% rural and very largely dependent on small-scale agriculture, fishery and forestry assets for their livelihoods. The Cambodian economy has been growing rapidly for the last decades benefiting all levels of the population, but mainly the richest fifth of the population. There is a growing inequality between rich and poor – both between urban and rural populations, and within rural populations. Urban poverty has declined at a far higher rate than for rural areas

3 Amsterdam, The Netherlands Access to services: In 2004, only 17% of people had access to adequate sanitation and only 41% to clean water with a great disparity between urban and rural The literacy rate for men is 85% and women 64%. About 45% of the population is under 18 but education services are limited so this is a growing issue Free health care services are also limited. The cost of paying for health emergencies contributes to families being forced to sell land.

4 Amsterdam, The Netherlands Gender Significant traditional gender inequalities persist, and new ones are emerging. Women have primary responsibility for childcare and domestic tasks, which means they have limited opportunities for paid employment. Other barriers to employment for women are: lower levels of education and literacy, prevailing attitudes about “appropriate” occupations for women, and the fear of trafficking or sexual violence when traveling away from home. With migration and more disposable income, new, risk- taking patterns of male behavior are emerging and resulting in new forms of vulnerability for women (e.g., sexual harassment or to contracting HIV from their husbands). There are high levels of domestic violence.

5 Amsterdam, The Netherlands Coastal Resource Management in Cambodia Fishing is one of the country’s most important industries yet fishers are amongst the poorest and most marginalised people in Cambodian society. Women’s contributions to the fishing industry are diverse, but often undervalued and unrecognised. Barriers to women’s leadership and full participation persist, including women’s own perceptions, limits on their mobility, time poverty from the multiple burdens, gender stereotyping. There is little support in fisherfolk organisations for raising awareness of women’s opinions and needs: men dominate leadership structures, and women have limited opportunities for training, women fishers are largely active in homemaker types of committees and supportive committee roles

6 Amsterdam, The Netherlands Women in Local Government in Cambodia The government has traditionally been characterised by corruption and a lack of transparency and accountability. At the local level, poor people’s lack of voice means that local development plans have not reflected their priorities. In 2002, the government introduced commune councils. Poor, rural women in particular lack opportunities to participate in decision-making e.g, 15% of commune council members are women Politics is viewed as the domain of men. Many women lack the funds and connections to enter politics Once elected, female commune councillors face a number of obstacles: low levels of education, lack of skills, experience, or qualifications to act as representatives, multiple burdens Some female councillors have reported being marginalised by their male counterparts. Others are constrained by political party expectations


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