Economic Empowerment of Women Migrant Workers in Cambodia

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11 Mar 2022

Economic Empowerment of Women Migrant Workers in Cambodia

Cambodia has seen an increasing trend in migration over the last two decades pushed by better job prospects abroad and closer bilateral cooperation with neighbouring countries. Migrants make immense contribution to the Cambodian economy through regular remittances sent home and by enriching the labour market with skills picked up from abroad. Women are almost equal contributors of these benefits, yet they face disproportionate challenges in their migration journey and when they return. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for an effective reintegration plan to help women transition into their local environment as a starting point in economically empowering them.
The main objective of this literature review is to examine the current research materials available and identify key industries and micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises in Cambodia that can potentially provide employment and income-generating opportunities to low or unskilled female migrant workers in a post-COVID-19 environment.   

The report details the profile and demographics of Cambodian migrant women to design intervention efforts for their economic empowerment. The recommendations put forward in this report call for an effective reintegration path and creation of an enabling environment for migrant women to be economically empowered.

  • Acknowledgements
  • List of figures and tables 
  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary 
  • Section 1: Introduction 
    • 1.1. Methodology 
    • 1.2. Scope and limitations 
  • Section 2: Overview of women migrants in Cambodia 
    • 2.1. Flow of migration 
    • 2.2. Migration demographics 
    • 2.3. Key reasons for migrating 
    • 2.4. Sectors worked before migrating 
    • 2.5. Financial condition prior to migration 
    • 2.6. Financial literacy prior to migration 
    • 2.7. How women fund their migration 
    • 2.8. Sectors worked abroad 
    • 2.9. Remittance and debt practices 
    • 2.10. Income abroad and on return 
    • 2.11. Main challenges abroad 
    • 2.12. Typical length of stay abroad
  • Section 3: Review of return migration intervention measures
    • 3.1. The concept of return migration 
    • 3.2. Occupations upon return 
    • 3.3. Challenges upon return 
    • 3.4. Responses and interventions for returning migrants 
    • 3.5. Responses in ASEAN and Asia-Pacific 
    • 3.6. Impact of intervention for migrant women 
  • Section 4: Economic empowermentof migrant women
    • 4.1. Context setting 
    • 4.2. General principles for a reintegration path 
    • 4.3. Defining women’s economic empowerment 
    • 4.4. Current economic empowerment efforts in Cambodia 
    • 4.5. Impact of COVID-19 on Cambodia and ASEAN economies 
    • 4.6. Key economic drivers post COVID-19 
    • 4.7. Enablers for economic empowerment 
    • 4.8. Potential impact of economic empowerment 
  • Section 5: Recommendations 
    • 5.1. Key recommendations 
    • 5.2. Areas for further research 
  • References