(Phnom Penh): Her Excellency Hun Dany, secretary of state and high representative of H.E. Dr. Thong Khon, minister of tourism, presided to lead the women and gender’s works performance summarizing meeting in tourism for 2021 to view on the implementation of the previous works and set direction for continuing implementation for 2022.
The meeting was held on the morning of December 28th, 2021, at the office of the ministry of tourism through direct meeting and online (Hybrid), with participation from managements as women coming from general departments, the national institute of tourism, various departments under the ministry of tourism, Mr. and Mrs., directors of capital – provincial tourism departments, and skilled officers which are a total of about 100 participants.
Stated in the meeting, Her Excellency secretary of state addressed that to join in the implementation of “Gender Equality Policy”, stimulated in the Royal Government’s rectangular strategy, the ministry of tourism has laid out a series of gender mainstreaming and advancing strategic plans in its sector in line with national mechanisms.
Separately, in the context of COVID-19, the ministry of tourism has made efforts in all means and pictures to help empower women by providing training both nationally and regionally, both directly and online towards helping women with soft and hard skills in adaptation to the jobs market and become leaders in businesses, services, as well as to be ready for the recovery of tourism.
Her Excellency secretary of state stressed that the ministry of tourism has been making efforts in driving domestic tourism movements with the strict implementation of tourism safety measures and standard operating procedures, and the ministry of health’s guidelines. With this, the quality of services, sanitation, and hospitality are further being advanced, and women participation is being promoted in the implementation of Roadmap on Tourism Rehabilitation and Promotion (2020 – 2025). With the recovery of the domestic tourism movement, some business bases have launched their operations which provide staffs opportunity to serve, including women. In this regard, most women have also been working in a now normal and some have backed to catch other careers in the transition of COVID-19.
In 2021, due to the influence of COVID-19, women labor forces in tourism remarkably decreased – down from 60% to about 47% of total labor forces serving. The decrease is due to the tourism entertaining services: Karaoke, Clubs, and Massage and Spa services, Beer Garden Disco Teak, the service with the largest number of female employees among tourism services, have been shut down or suspended. Losing those jobs causes some women to face more poverty and violence than men. But this is not just for women in Cambodia’s tourism sector, but also for women in the region and internationally.
At the same time, to recover, the ministry’s policies and programs have also been being continued, and the relevant stakeholders are encouraged to pay more attention, and the women’s potential should be seen in this social sector for the national economy. The ministry has taken the crisis of COVID-19 to promote the quality of services, sanitation, hospitality, and create newly- tourism products in order to boost domestic tourism movements and to get ready for welcoming the safe international tourists who have already been vaccinated towards making the women are accessible to further jobs opportunity from this field in the upcoming 2022.
The meeting also allowed some capital – provincial department of tourism officers to share their experiences in women and gender works implementation in order to reflect about strengths, weaknesses, and challenges towards putting out common solutions, along with ongoing implementation plans for 2022 to strengthen and expand the greater capacity of women in this green golden sector.