Cambodia | ActionAid UK



Women and girls experience many challenges in Cambodia. There is an unequal power balance between men and women culturally, and violence against women and girls is common: 30% of Cambodian women who have ever had a partner have experienced some form of violence from their intimate partner in their lifetime.3

Research shows that domestic violence is a major concern. While violence against women may be considered culturally unacceptable, domestic violence is often considered justifiable.4

Cambodia also has low literacy rates, and a large disparity of literacy between men and women: 85.1% of men are literate, compared to just 70.9% of women. In Ratanakiri, home to a large number of indigenous people, the adult literacy rate is just 45.9%.5

The country is also vulnerable to floods, droughts and insect infestations. These affect crops, destroy homes and force villagers to move to safer ground. As the majority of Cambodians depend upon their crops for food, when disasters hit they struggle to feed their families.

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Yei Tha, 70 farmer living in O'Rum Cheik village,in Ruka Kiri district of Battambang province is very happy to see her grandchildren can go to school and get better education.

Yei Tha, 70 is a farmer from Battambang province. Thanks to an agricultural training run by ActionAid and our local partner, she now earns enough to send her grandchildren to school.

Photo: Savann Oeurm/ActionAid

What we do in Cambodia

We support rural women to establish community savings groups. Members can borrow and repay money, interest free and get help to start small businesses. This helps women afford to send their children to school. Our Safe Cities Programme is targeting the local and national authorities to ensure they improve the safety of women and girls vulnerable to violence in cities.

To help day labourers who cannot earn money for food when the floods arrive, we provide rice loans. And to help farmers boost food production we provide training on crop diversification and new techniques. Farmers who receive training share their knowledge with the rest of the community.

ActionAid runs regular workshops for parents on the importance of children going to school and we work with teachers and parent groups to improve the quality of education. We also identify the children most likely to drop out due to poverty and provide a school uniform and bag, notebooks, pens and pencils so they can continue their lessons.

How we’re changing lives for good in Cambodia

Read stories of women and girls we've helped.


Top image: Children from a community supported by ActionAid in the province of Pursat, Cambodia. Alberto Marotta/ActionAid