Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Women struggling to attain higher levels of education

Women struggling to attain higher levels of education

Women struggling to attain higher levels of education

110907_2
Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Women’s Affairs, speaks yesterday at a conference held at the InterContinental hotel in Phnom Penh.

Women are struggling to attain secondary and university education despite “remarkable” progress in increasing women’s access to primary education in recent years, officials and rights workers said yesterday.

Speaking at a conference  on women in the capital yesterday, Minister of Women’s Affairs Ing Kantha Phavi pointed to literacy rates as evidence of Cambodia’s success in achieving gender parity in access to primary education.

“The literacy rate of people under [the age of] 20 reflects Cambodia’s remarkable progress in providing girls with access to education at the primary level,” she said.

However, officials said that they were working to address a gender gap in secondary and higher education by providing scholarships and accommodation for female students.

“We prioritise females when selecting scholarship recipients at all levels. If men and women are equal, we prioritise women,” said Yim Van Chankan, deputy general of the general directorate of education at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.

The percentage of government-funded university scholarships granted to female students had increased from 36 percent to 55 percent between 2006 and 2010, Yim Van Chankan said.

Rights workers expressed concern that women were not enrolling in high school or university at the same rate as their male counterparts.

“Although we are seeing similar levels of enrolment in primary education for girls and boys, the proportion decreases as they get older and into high school and higher education,” Ros Sopheap, executive director of NGO Gender and Development for Cambodia, said.

Sen Marya, dormitory manager for Harpswell Foundation, a US-based NGO that operates a primary school in Kampong Chhnang province and dorms for female students in the capital, said that a lack of affordable lodging for rural female students was fuelling the problem.

“Girls can’t move on to the next level if they don’t have a place to stay,” she said, claiming that some public teachers in rural villages had also been charging students school fees.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,