Hardworking Cambodian shoe maker has little time for politics

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Cows are seen in Prey Ngeat commune, in Kampong Speu province, Cambodia, July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Khen Srey Touch, 27, who is nine months pregnant, waits for a pickup truck to go home after work at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 4, 2018. Khen Srey Touch works 10 hours a day, six days a week and earns $240 a month. "I am the main breadwinner of the house," she said. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
A farmer walks to work in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Seng Tharith, 4, the son of Khen Srey Touch, plays with a cellphone in his house in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 5, 2018. Khen Srey Touch is nine months pregnant and works at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company. She works 10 hours a day, six days a week and earns $240 a month. "I am the main breadwinner of the house," she said. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Workers arrive to work at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Khen Srey Touch, 27, stands in the door at her house in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 4, 2018. Khen Srey Touch is nine months pregnant and works at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company. She works 10 hours a day, six days a week and earns $240 a month. "I am the main breadwinner of the house," she said. REUTERS/Ann Wang
Khen Srey Touch, 27, who is nine months pregnant, waits for a pickup truck to take her to work to Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, while her son relaxes, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 5, 2018. Khen Srey Touch works 10 hours a day, six days a week and earns $240 a month. "I am the main breadwinner of the house," she said. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
A worker has a nap at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Khen Srey Touch, 27, who is nine months pregnant, buys food at a market outside Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, where she works, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia July 4, 2018. Khen Srey Touch works 10 hours a day, six days a week and earns $240 a month. "I am the main breadwinner of the house," she said. REUTERS/Ann Wang
A kid sleeps in a hammock at a traditional Cambodian medicine shop in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 4, 2018. REUTESR/Ann Wang 
Khen Srey Touch, 27, who is nine months pregnant, rests after dinner in her front yard in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 4, 2018. Khen Srey Touch works at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company. She works 10 hours a day, six days a week and earns $240 a month. "I am the main breadwinner of the house," she said. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Khen Srey Touch, 27, a worker at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, visits a traditional Cambodian medicine shop during her one-hour lunch break, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 4, 2018. She purchased medicine to help her with breast milk when she gives birth to her second child. Khen Srey Touch works 10 hours a day, six days a week and earns $240 a month. "I am the main breadwinner of the house," she said. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Workers wait for a pickup truck to take them home after working at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
A worker has a nap on a shelf during a lunch break at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Workers ride a pickup truck on their way home after working at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Shoes are being made at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Women seat on the floor during their lunch break at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Women work on the production line at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Khen Srey Touch, 27, who is nine months pregnant, sews shoes at work at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 5, 2018. Khen Srey Touch works 10 hours a day, six days a week and earns $240 a month. "I am the main breadwinner of the house," she said. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Shoes are being made at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Women work on the production line at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Khen Srey Touch, 27, who is nine months pregnant, sits down while her supervisor gives team instructions before workers start their shift at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 5, 2018. Khen Srey Touch works 10 hours a day, six days a week and earns $240 a month. "I am the main breadwinner of the house," she said. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Women work on the production line at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
A worker climbs through the window to go back to work after an hour lunch break at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
A supervisor of a sewing team gives workers instructions before they start their shift at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Women work on the production line at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Workers eat breakfast at a market outside Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, before their shift at the factory, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Women work on the production line at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Workers ride a pickup truck on their way to work at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Workers donate to monks before their shift at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
Workers arrive early morning for their shift at Complete Honour Footwear Industrial, a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company, in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang 
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KAMPONG SPEU, Cambodia, July 21 (Reuters) - Whoever wins Cambodia's general election next week, 27-year-old Khen Srey Touch knows only that she will have to keep working hard for years to come.

Already the mother of a four-year-old boy, she is due to give birth to a girl within two weeks, but maintains a punishing schedule in a shoe factory, working about 10 hours a day, six days a week.

"I am the main breadwinner of the house," Khen Srey Touch told a Reuters photographer who spent a few days with her family in their village southwest of the capital Phnom Penh. 

Each morning she catches a ride in an open pickup truck to a footwear factory owned by a Taiwan company. She earns $240 a month making shoes for American, British and Japanese brands.

But it is dark when she returns home to cook the evening meal and wait for her husband, a temporary construction worker.

Khen Srey Touch is among thousands of workers in the garment industry who are being courted by Prime Minister Hun Sen ahead of the July 29 election.

Like many Cambodians, she has known no other leader but Hun Sen. "He is the only person who has ruled the country and I don't know why," she added.

Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for more than 30 years, is trying to ensure victory after two close elections in 2013 and 2017, by handing out cash inducements and a series of punishing measures against the opposition.

His government has targeted opposition politicians, civil society groups and independent media ahead of the poll, which he appears set to win easily.

Hun Sen has also been a fixture at campaign rallies with garment workers - promising them more benefits and handing cash envelopes to pregnant employees.

Khen Srey Touch said she knew it was important to cast her vote, but she understood little about political parties.

And whatever the election outcome, she was determined her children will have a better life.

"I want my children to have a good education...not to be like me and my husband," she said.

(Reporting by Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre Editing by Darren Schuettler)

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