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Cambodia Failing Its Women, Lawmaker Says


Mu Sochua, a senior lawmaker for the Cambodia National Rescue Party, says Cambodia is failing its women on VOA Khmer's Hello VOA call-in show, file photo. (Lim Sothy/VOA Khmer)

Mu Sochua, a senior lawmaker for the Cambodia National Rescue Party, says Cambodia is failing its women on VOA Khmer's Hello VOA call-in show, file photo. (Lim Sothy/VOA Khmer)

Mu Sochua said there are few opportunities for jobs, coupled with land grabs and low wages for jobs that do exist—and this is forcing many Cambodian women to work abroad.

Mu Sochua, a senior lawmaker for the Cambodia National Rescue Party, says Cambodia is failing its women.

There are few opportunities for jobs, coupled with land grabs and low wages for jobs that do exist—and this is forcing many Cambodian women to work abroad, Mu Sochua, the former Minister of Women’s Affairs, told “Hello VOA” Thursday.

As UN leaders meet in New York to discuss gender equality and development, she said, Cambodia stands as a cautionary tale. “In Cambodia, the wage is so small that our workers cannot support their needs or their livelihoods or families,” she said. That forces migration, as people seek stable work and better pay, putting them at risk.

And while poverty has declined some, along with school drop out rates and maternity death rates, nearly 20 percent of Cambodians still exist under the poverty line, living on about $1.25 a day. That’s a far cry from the $250 monthly some studies say would be needed for Cambodians to keep up with the rising cost of living, she said.

World leaders are meeting in New York for the Sustainable Development Summit, to adopt the 2030 “Agenda for Sustainable Development,” which includes a set of 17 sustainable development goals, “to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.”

For that to happen in Cambodia, Mu Sochua said, Cambodia’s political leaders have to see these as national issues, not issues belonging to one party or another.

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