are paid on average US$55 per month - about half the income needed
to support their families. 33% of the women support children as single
mothers, and 90% support rural families. Evidence-driven "living wages"
($208 monthly in 2009; sufficient to feed a family) would add an
additional annual cost of $1500 to each beer seller's salary.
sex workers About half become indirect sex workers,
exchanging money for sex to supplement their income.
prevalence Condom use following beer drinking is lowered;
averaged over the past 7 years, 20% of the female beer promotion women
in Cambodia are seropositive for HIV/AIDS. It is estimated that there
are approximately 200,000 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) in
Cambodia, with 10,000 in Siem Reap.
It is estimated that within
2 years these young women may be dead if not proactively dealt with by
the international breweries whose beer they sell.
Medication A 'clone' version of
the life-prolonging anti-retroviral therapy (ARVT) costs approx US$360
per year. The beer companies do not provide health care for the "beer
girls", and their average annual wage of US$600-US$800 means that ARVT
is not an option for the seropositive "beergirls". Consequently, death
follows from 3 months to two years after diagnosis. Currently Medicins
sans frontieres, ESTHER and other NGOs provide free clone ARVT for only
a small number of the nearly 200,000 Cambodians estimated to be living
with HIV/AIDS. Death follows three months to two years after diagnosis.
costs' The 'beergirls' are described as
'promotional/advertising costs' and listed as part of the marketing
budget in annual reports. Consequently, these 'beer girls' are not
treated as salaried employees and the beer companies avoid taking
responsibility for their healthcare.
risks "Beergirls" consume unsafe quantities of alcohol when
working, drinking over 1.2 litres of beer (about 5 standard drinks)
nightly 27 days a month (
Schuster et al 2006). This reduces condom use thus increasing
risks for HIV/AIDS and STIs. The WHO advises that 5+ units of alcohol
daily are harmful leading to other health problems
(liver damage, cancers). In 2006, Trisha Pagnutti took breathalyzer
samples of women beer sellers who averaged a BAC of 0.49 (0.5 is
considered impaired). In addition there are work safety issues such as
violence, road accidents, harassment and absenteeism brought about by
the consumption of alcohol at work. Read SiRCHESI's newsletter
detailing the double threat of alcohol and aids
SiRCHESi Newsletter 2007
THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE IS TAKEN FROM
A VARIETY OF RESEARCH REPORTS. TO READ THE FULL REPORTS GO TO THIS PAGE