After 20 years in construction, Kroeun finally feels safe at work

After 20 years in construction, Kroeun finally feels safe at work

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Kroeun, 52, has been working in construction for over 20 years. She speaks about the recent changes she has noticed and explains how the knowledge she has gained through CARE's Labour Rights for Female Construction Workers (LRFCW) education sessions at the construction site are helping her at home and at work.

I left my home province of Prey Veng, Cambodia 20 years ago in search of work in construction. I am now married to another construction worker and together we have five children.

For many years, people used to not wear helmets or proper shoes when working on the site. The company provides belts for when we are working high up but most people would leave them and climb without safety equipment.

“I have joined all of the educational sessions provided at the construction site where I work and I feel like I have a better understanding of safety in the workplace." Now I experience fewer instances of swollen feet and the hard hats make me less worried about falling debris.

My children work in construction but on a different site so I make sure I pass on what I have learned to them. I’m happy they are making changes to stay safe. In addition, the company now takes action when people do not follow safety guidelines.

From the lunchtime sessions, I have also learned more about communicating with my husband. He used to drink 1-2 liters of alcohol every day, which worried me and was costing our family money.

After the training, I became more aware of the dangers of drinking and said to my husband, “It’s important to cut down because it’s better for your health and it is less dangerous when driving. Now you need to stop drinking too much, limit it to 1 or 2 cans a day”. I only needed to tell him once and now he doesn’t shout or cause trouble anymore, which is a relief. My son has followed suit and has also stopped driving after he has been drinking.

When my husband drank lots every day we were in debt. As a direct result of him cutting down on how much he drinks, our family owes money and we are able to save instead. “I am no longer worried and I feel happy that my family is now safe from harm.”

CARE Cambodia's Labour Rights for Female Construction Workers engages with civil society, government and private sector businesses with the aim of ensuring safe and secure work environments for women, as well as increasingly equal working conditions among women and men. It works directly with women employed in the construction industry in Cambodia to ensure they know their rights and are able to access improved protections.

Learn more about the Labour Rights for Female Construction Workers  project >



Labour Rights for Female Construction Workers (LRFCW) has impacted Kroeun's daily work and home life. Credit: CARE