Cambodia Country Office

Cambodia is a country emerging from conflict. In the past decade some progress has been achieved through interventions by government, civil society and international agencies, but it remains one of the poorest countries in Asia Pacific region. Given this context, the challenges to gender equality in Cambodia remain those related to poverty, including maternal mortality, illiteracy, violence, trafficking and unsafe migration. Discriminatory attitudes and norms present further obstacles in achieving gender equality.

Although Cambodia ratified CEDAW in 1992, implementation has remained slow until recently. Since 2001, however, gender equality efforts have been gaining momentum and receiving national endorsement, beginning with efforts to engender the 2003-2005 National Poverty Reduction Strategy (NPRS). Currently, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA) and the Cambodia National Council for Women (CNCW) make up the national machinery for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. MoWA recently launched its 3rd Strategic Plan, Neary Rattanak III (2009-2013), focusing on economic empowerment of women, gender equality in education, legal protections, public health issues, including HIV/AIDS prevention and care, and women’s political participation. MoWA also prioritizes CEDAW implementation and mainstreaming gender equality into the general policy framework.


News and Updates

Full House for opening night of Step It Up Film Festival in Cambodia

15 March 2016

“If we only see the world through men’s eyes we are missing half the picture,’’ Sarah Knibbs from UN Women kicked off proceedings at the Step It Up International Women’s Day Film Festival on the 8th March. She made thoughtful remarks on the differing struggles and challenging life experiences faced by Cambodian women, both in the present day, and during the Khmer Rouge years. The Meta House outdoor cinema was full to the brim for... more

Step it up: Cambodia’s International Women’s Day Film Festival

25 February 2016

Celebrated yearly on the 8th of March, International Women’s Day marks a global day to recognize the challenges, solicit change, and to celebrate women’s empowerment and achievements worldwide. This year, following the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, UN Women Cambodia is proud to host a three day Film Festival for International Women’s day. In line with this year’s theme, “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender... more

The time for realizing the SDGs is now - women’s empowerment at the forefront of the Cambodian agenda

12 February 2016

The National Monument of Pakistan located in the Country’s capital city, Islamabad, commenced the 16 Days of Activism campaign, by turning ORANGE in colour on the eve of 25 November 2015, to raise awareness and mobilize actions to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls. Like every 25 November, UN Women (the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) commemorates the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which starts... more

Women in Cambodia continue to face violence, U.N. report says

13 January 2016

One in five women in Cambodia has experienced sexual and/or physical intimate partner violence, according to the newly released National Survey on Women’s Health and Life Experiences conducted by the National Institute of Statistics of the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs with support from UN Women and WHO. The study shows that in Cambodia there is a high acceptance towards the use of violence against... more


National Survey on Women's Health and Life Experiences in Cambodia. Cambodia Ministry of Women’s Affairs, 2015


Violence against women, in its many forms and manifestations, and across all settings, is a violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Violence against women takes place regardless of age, class, race and ethnicity, and impacts women across the world. This report looks at the proportion of women who ever had a partner, and if they ever in their lifetime have experienced physical, sexual and/or emotional violence. This is the first nationally representative, dedicated survey on intimate partner violence in Cambodia... more

Out from behind closed doors: A study on domestic workers in Cambodia


Domestic workers, most often women, remain hidden behind closed doors of private households and are shielded from the public view and attention. This can put them into a vulnerable position. Although stories have helped to create a stronger awareness for the public to the situation of domestic workers, there still has been a lack of hard data to inform the policy debate. This study is directed at filling the knowledge gaps regarding domestic work in Cambodia... more

Featured Story

Cambodian Youth on dialogue with Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls

UN Women Cambodia brought together 10 young Cambodian activists to meet with Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Ms. Natasha Stott Despoja, on her visit to Phnom Penh. Representing a range of different youth networks and organizations, the group discussed the work... More

Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it up for gender equality!

On 27 September, the Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Commitment to Action. Governments have made concrete national commitments to ensure women and girls can reach their full potential by 2030. Among 80 Member States globally that have stepped it up, 19 are from Asia and the Pacific region... More

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