The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on Monday said that while Cambodia has policies promoting gender equality and combating violence against women, it was still concerned about domestic violence, the promotion of men over women and the arrest of surrogate mothers.

CEDAW released its findings on the women’s rights situation in Cambodia, which the international institution reviewed at the last session from October 21 to November 8 in Geneva.

It said it remained concerned that the primary means of resolving cases of domestic violence in Cambodia was informal reconciliation by community members.

The committee added that discriminatory stereotypes normalising male superiority remained deeply rooted in the Kingdom, while surrogate mothers had been arrested and subjected to criminal proceedings since the criminalisation of surrogacy in 2016.

Ministry of Women’s Affairs spokesman Phun Puthborey said the ministry would continue to support the resolution of domestic violence in court as it is a criminal offence.

He said that the ministry is making efforts to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women.

Since 1993, the number of women holding the position of secretary of state or undersecretary of state had increased, while those becoming leaders of ministries and members of the National Assembly had also grown.

He said women were also deputy provincial governors in all provinces.

“In 1993, almost no woman held the position of secretary of state or undersecretary of state. But now we have had remarkable progress,” Puthborey said.

The ministry is drafting a law on surrogacy, which aims to prevent the exploitation of women and promote the best interests of children, he told The Post.