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Table 2 Career pathway of health workforce in Cambodia (1980s to 2016)

From: Why are fewer women rising to the top? A life history gender analysis of Cambodia’s health workforce

  1980s 1990s 2000–2016
Context Post Khmer Rouge regime, K5 (the period between 1985 and 1989 when the government set a plan to seal Khmer Rouge guerrilla infiltration routes into the central Cambodia) (start rebuilding health sector) Paris Peace Accord; first election held in 1993; health sector reform Full peace achieved in 1997; continuation of health sector reform (user fees, Health Equity Fund, health coverage plan, health workforce development plan)
Entering medical school ▪ Government’s demand for HWs to respond to needs of health service after KR
▪ Recruitment: based on the rapid response to the needs of health care services
▪ Government’s policy encouraged people to enter health workforce
▪ Recruitment: based on the need of health care services and personal interests in medical field
▪ Strong interest from individuals for medical education (wider awareness of medical education)
▪ Presence of private medical college
▪ Recruitment: based on needs of health services and enhancing quality of health workforce
Serving health workforce and leadership ▪ Women were discouraged to enter workforce: insecurity and gender norms, no restrictions for men
▪ Social recognition & appreciation of female health workers in staff-shortage/remote/under conflict areas
▪ Stigmatization of female workers on night shift, working far away from home
▪ Less support from male colleagues
▪ No social stigmatization on girls entering medical education
▪ Asymmetrical gender norms: expected roles of women to undertake household chores and child rearing
▪ Institutional support: presence of Gender Working Group in sub-national level
Advancing clinical skills ▪ Existence of policy to support the continuation of medical education but only:
• Single women
• Married women but not having children yet
• Married with support from husband
▪ No clinical advancement among managers in this period
▪ Lack of institutional support for clinical progress
▪ Women are obligated to undertake family and child rearing responsibilities
▪ Married women were able to continue their medical education
▪ Presence of male involvement in sharing domestic chores and child raring