UN Women Cambodia

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.


News and Updates

Sylvia Chim of Shiseido explains Design Thinking to participants at the innovation workshop on 12 November. Photo: UN Women/Leng Sreynich

UN Women-organized workshop creates innovative ways to improve women’s lives

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Seventy young people participating in a UN Women-organized “Ideathon” have come up with innovative solutions to the problems women in Asia face in school and at work. The Innovation for Impact (i4i) Ideathon brought together 70 women aged 18-25 from across the region to discuss ways to improve women’s participation in the workforce and small-medium businesses, personal safety and especially sexual harassment, and access... more

At the 29 August meeting, Noeu Siphon, left, and Hang Samoeun speak out about the needs of their communities and women’s experiences with climate change. Photo: UN Women/Sreynich Leng

Project to empower women in climate change decisions begins in Cambodia

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A project to strengthen women’s resilience to climate change and natural disasters in Cambodia has begun with government, civil society and women’s groups, and United Nations agencies discussing the best ways forward. The Cambodia project is part of a larger project that UN women is jointly coordinating with UN Environment in Asia-Pacific countries. The Government of Sweden funds the project, which runs from 2018 to 2022 and is called The Empower: Empowering Women to Secure Climate-resilient Societies... more

Cambodian government and development partner officials gather at the 30 October meeting to discuss plans to better protect female migrant workers. Photo: UN Women/Ziyin Lu

Priority given to legal protection for female migrant workers in Cambodia

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Cambodian Government and its development partners have decided that efforts to protect female migrant workers should give priority to ensuring that those who abuse them are punished under the law. The National Project Advisory Committee on female migrant workers’ rights and opportunities made the commitment at a 30 October meeting to decide priority actions for their work plan for 2019. Cambodian government and development partner... more

Women’s group member Eng Lyhouy shows areas vulnerable to climate change in Kompong Kreng Commune in Kompot Province. She was addressing local authorities in a 19 October meeting in Kompot. Photo: UN Women/Sreynich Leng

Female leaders contribute to climate change risk reduction plans in Cambodia

Monday, November 19, 2018

GLocal administrations in Cambodia are planning to incorporate into their climate change risk reduction plans the ideas contributed by female leaders who received training under a United Nations project. Local authorities discussed the plans with women’s and civil society groups on 17 and 19 October in two provinces, Prey Veng and Kompot... more

Photo: UN Women/Phon Vutha

Officials of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand recommend steps to protect migrant workers

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Government officials of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand have jointly recommended steps to protect the millions of migrant workers in the region from exploitation and abuse. The officials from various ministries made the recommendations at a 24-25 May consultation that also included employers, civil society and international humanitarian organizations, and United Nations agencies - UN Women, International Organization for Migration... more

Sarah Knibbs of UN Women gives welcome remarks at the LOVEISDIVERSITY media platform launch at Pannasastra University of Cambodia on 8 June. Photo: UN Women/Sreynich Leng

Cambodian LGBTIQ activists launch online media platform with UN Women’s help

Friday, July 6, 2018

With the support from UN Women, Cambodian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning (LGBTIQ) people and activists have launched an online media platform to promote the rights of their community. The platform, dubbed LOVEISDIVERSITY, aims to engage youths, especially students, in increasing society’s acceptance of LGBTIQ people and the profile of LGBTIQ issues. It was launched on 8 June in a ceremony at Pannasastra University of Cambodia... more

The 31 May event included an exhibition of photos related to LGBTIQ concerns. Photo: UN Women/Sreynich Leng

LGBTIQ people continue advocating for their rights in Cambodia

Friday, July 6, 2018

Cambodia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people are continuing to urge the Government to make laws and policies to give them equal rights. The effort continued with a public policy dialogue between policymakers and more than 70 LGBTIQ activists, civil society groups and United Nations agencies. The dialogue took place at a hotel in Phnom Penh on 31 May, during Pride Week... more

Soengva Kong, 20, Sreynit Soan, 24 and Sreynoch Khun 21  of New Cambodian Artists who performed at the International Women's Day event in Cambodia 2018, Celebrating Women's Strength at the Cambodia- Korea Cooperation Center ( CKCC).  Photo: UN Women/Sreynich Leng

2018 International Women's Day in Cambodia: Celebrating women's strength

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Civil society organizations in Cambodia celebrated International Women's Day (IWD) through arts and creativity with technical support from UN Women Country Office and with kind support from the Swedish Embassy. People from various backgrounds and ages came together, standing in line waiting to register their names to a festival under the slogan "Strength of Cambodian Women". Soengva Kong, 20, Sreynit Soan, 24 and Sreynoch Khun 21... more

Equal Rights Begin at Home

19 May 2017

This week people all over the world are marking the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). This is the day when the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Queer (LGBTIQ) persons are highlighted and diversity is celebrated. Here in Cambodia, IDAHOT is at the centre of a week of celebration and awareness-raising for LGBTIQ Pride 2017 under the theme I Am What I Am. Globally, “Families” are the focus for IDAHOT 2017. The family is... more

From where I stand: Sinet Seap

17 August 2016

I sold my gold earrings to pay for the first year of university in Phnom Penh. I come from a farmer’s family in rural Cambodia. Most of my friends stopped going to school at age 11. Only a handful of us made it to high school. One of my teachers said: ‘You shouldn’t study. You will always be busy with house chores.’ School... more

Cambodia strengthens its strategy to end the widespread violence against women

10 August 2016

The Cambodian Government has strengthened its national strategy to prevent violence against women, which experts say continues to be widespread in the country. The Government adopted its Second National Action Plan on Violence against Women in December 2014. The plan, which covers 2014-2018, focuses on primary prevention and aims to move the country beyond awareness raising to “learning by doing”. It pairs government... more

Changing how violence against women is reported

11 July 2016

UN Women Cambodia partnered up with its Media Compact, Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) to create awareness and share knowledge on violence against women in the media. Over the course of two days, journalists learned how to pen down ethical journalism that challenges stereotypes. “In the media, women are always depicted as victims, sometimes even with... more


Infographics: The GEWE Universe


The Sustainable Development Goals are the globally agreed goals guiding the new development agenda towards 2030. Gender is mainstreamed throughout the 17 SDGs while Goal 5 specifically calls on states to: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls... 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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