Research suggests that the key factors associated with the perpetration of violence against women are widely present in Cambodia. These include poverty, a low level of education, witnessing abuse at home, exposure to childhood trauma, alcohol abuse, anti-social personality disorder, attitudes that are accepting of violence, relationship discord and having multiple partners.
There is a culture of male dominance over women - although about 95 percent of Cambodian males and females think that men and women should be treated equally, females overwhelmingly feel in some way responsible for or should tolerate the acts of violence against them. 28% of men and 33% of women think that there are times when a woman deserved to be beaten, according to UNDP research*
We are working with communities to change these attitudes and behaviours towards women and gender roles. We are also working with the governance structures to increase female representation in local positions of influence and authority.
Leadership in Cambodia has historically been male-dominated but recent interviews with villagers and current leaders show that some are increasingly supporting women as long as they are equipped with appropriate knowledge and skills.
Despite these positive signs, local leadership is still currently largely male, while many villagers and local leaders still feel unaccustomed to and unconvinced about women in politics**.
* UNDP 2013