Plan International (PI) Cambodia organised a three-day training session on its gender transformative programme for nearly 20 partner organisations. The training aimed to improve gender equality by raising awareness among up to 2.5 million adolescent girls and young women.

PI deputy country director Yi Kimthan told The Post on May 14 that each of the participants at the May 9-11 training in Phnom Penh learned about the key intervention activities of PI-funded projects that are working to improve gender equality. The programme will end in 2026.

“According to our strategic plan, we want to reach 2.5 million adolescent girls and young women in the country so that they are aware of their rights when it comes to decision making,” he said.

The training aimed to help partner organisations, especially those working with adolescent girls and young women, to strengthen gender equality by contributing to change in their target areas or communities.

Kimthan expected that following the training, the participants would have a better understanding about the programme.

The PI’s five-year programme – 4th Country Strategy (CS4), for the period from July 1, 2021, to June 20, 2026 – was designed to empower adolescent girls and young women in Cambodia. The CS4 helps to support the diversity of adolescent girls and young women, gives them a voice and supports them in gaining the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to realise their rights and reach their full potential, according to the organisation.

Prak Monirath, president of the Khmer Youth Association (KYA), said the workshop was very important for her and several other organisations that are working to support girls and young women.

The workshop aimed to examine shortcomings and factors that need to be addressed, in order to enhance the participation of young women.

“We examined the gaps and angles that we had not considered, in terms of strengthening women’s participation, as well as the empowerment of women. We had also discussed some of the obstacles that hinder women’s participation in Cambodian society,” she said.

According to Monirath, barriers to women’s participation may include social stereotypes, traditional practices that cause adolescent girls and young women to drop out of school and limited opportunities for personal development. These gender stereotypes are not limited to increasing school dropout rates, but also see many young women marry at a young age.

Every year, PI Cambodia implements projects that benefit more than 200,000 children and reach nearly 80,000 households in almost 600 communities across the Kingdom. The organisation has been working in Cambodia since 2002.