“I believe in the power of storytelling and sharing experiences”


Shifting norms in the 21st Century: seven stories of how the next generation of advocates are fighting gender-based violence. Photo: Piseth Sour

Sinoun Poev, 26
Project Manager at Alliance for Conflict Transformation
Collective Action to support Women's Rights and Co-Founder at Breakthrough, Cambodia

My name is Sinoun Poev. I am 26 years old and I am from Cambodia. Currently I'm a project coordinator of Collective Action to Support Women's Right with Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT), a local NGO in Cambodia. This project aims to link the community and civil society to government by increasing women and youth participation and leadership in decision making processes in Cambodia. I am also the Co-Founder of Breakthrough which is a movement to promote gender equality. We are team that raises awareness on gender-based violence (GBV) and the empowerment of women and girls. I am a student and I am an introvert.

I am lucky that I am privileged to have freedoms and rights. We as women get a lot of pressure from society and from the entire world just for being women. So I ask myself why? The more I’m exposed to the issues surrounding GBV and gender equality, the more I see that it is so unfair – it is a serious problem and not just here and there. It’s unjust. We need to act, not tomorrow but now.

Gender equality is better than in the past, but we still have a long way to go. Especially in Cambodia we have a lot of social norms that pass through the generations. This is especially true in provinces like Mondul Kiri. The community remains remote and fairly removed from larger cities, which presents a lot of social icssues. Women and girls don’t realise that GBV as a concept exists, but sadly they are aware of the phenomenon. A common perspective in that community is that “the wife belongs to the husband” and that “family problems” such as domestic violence are not talked about, which successfully silences women’s experience of domestic violence. If women do wish to find support, their efforts are stopped by the lack of transportation and income options. This is just one of many issues women and girls in the community face, so I am helping to expose the realities of GBV with these women and girls. Additionally with Breakthrough, I reach out to women and girls through storytelling and sharing experiences.

What are three ways can we support women who undergo GBV?

  1. To create a safe space for women and girls so they have more opportunities to raise their voice and show their concern.

  2. Education: In my country, during COVID-19 more girls have dropped out of school and child marriage rates have increased.

  3. I believe in the power of storytelling and sharing experiences. It’s in solidarity and supporting one another that we can empower women. For example, I am an introvert but I am stepping out of my comfort zone and raising my voice as loud as I can to help women and girls.


We are a movement of young Cambodian women, working to promote gender equality through storytelling  and sharing of experiences.




Mental health and empowering women - Cambodia


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