The second anniversary of the Cambodian Women’s Entrepreneurs Association (CWEA) took place on Friday 14th March at Hotel Raffles Le Royal in a well-attended gala dinner.
The keynote speaker of the evening was Her Excellency Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Women’s Affairs. Coinciding a week after International Women’s Day, Her Excellency spoke about gender equality and the benefits of this on Cambodian society in relation to the Minister’s national strategy entitled “Neary Rattanak”, which translated means “Women are precious gems”. She noted that women’s economic empowerment is one of the seven core strategic elements of the Neary Rattanak plan. She detailed that the labour participation rate of women in Cambodia is 79 percent of the overall workforce and in agriculture; women make up 57 percent of total employment.
The Minister encouraged female entrepreneurship describing it as “the essential lubricant for a nation’s ability to succeed in a fast changing and ever more competitive global market…productivity-increase, innovation and employment could be generated by women and for women”.
The CWEA is the first and only women’s organisation to participate in the prestigious annual Government Private Sector Forum, headed by the Prime Minister Hun Sen. They brought forward a number of suggestions on increasing productivity in the silk value chain and improving the quality of vocational training in tourism and hospitality in the last meeting held earlier this month.
Other speakers at the gala included Ms. Seng Takakneary, President of the CWEA, Madam Anne Lemaistre, Head of Operations of the United Nations Education Scientific and Culture Organisation (UNESCO) in Cambodia, and H. E. Dr. Sackona Phoeurng, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts.