UN Women Cambodia

Photo: UN Women/Mariken B. Harbitz
Sinet Seap with her former youth organization Youth Resource Development Programme and their volunteers. Photo: UN Women/Mariken B. Harbitz Read more

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.

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