Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A look at women’s role in Cambodia's political life

A look at women’s role in Cambodia's political life

A look at women’s role in Cambodia's political life

Social inequality, traditional family roles and financial woes might be the most recognised constraints holding women back from political positions, but other measures like getting gender into the curriculum could help turn things around, a regional congress heard yesterday.

Over the next two days, Siem Reap will continue hosting the regional Congress on Women’s Political Participation, a forum organised by Spanish NGO Paz y Desarollo (PyD) with the Cambodian government.

About 150 participants will take part in the discussions, with partner countries Vietnam, the Philippines, East Timor and Bangladesh comparing their progress in getting women into positions of power.

According to UN figures, Cambodia still takes a back seat to even East Timor, the poorest nation in Asia, when it comes to the the percentage of Cambodian females holding political office.

Minister of Women Affairs Ing Kantha Phavi, herself one of the minority of senior female government position holders, said it was well-accepted that higher numbers of women in parliament and the public and private sectors meant greater advancement of women’s issues in general.

But the Kingdom’s figures have  improved compared to 20 years ago, she said.

“Recently the number of women in parliament increased,” she said, pointing out that only five per cent of seats filled in 1993 were women.

That figure has more than quadrupled, to 21 per cent, today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thik Kaliyann at [email protected]


  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all