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Goal: Enhanced socio-economic status of women through gender equitable poverty reduction and rural development programs, expansion of employment and business opportunities and protection of women worker's rights, in particular for the vulnerable, the poor, the unemployed, and the disabled girls and women.





  • High incidence of poverty of rural women and their families
  • Need for access to micro credit in all provinces
  • Limited recognition of women's contribution to agricultural production
  • Agricultural extension services need to meet needs of women in agriculture
  • Women's weak bargaining power and  access to the market information.
  • Low rates of literacy
  • Low levels of educational attainment
  • Limited availability of market-oriented skills training
  • Few women engaged in delivering economic services hampers effective delivery of services to women


What has been the response?


Mainstreaming gender in policies and programs

*       National Policy

§  Rectangular Strategy

§  National Strategic Development Plan

§  Cambodia Millennium Development Goals

*       Sectoral Policies

§  Agriculture and Water

§  Industry, Labor and Trade

§  Education

Strategic action

*       Support for MSE development

§  Village-based food processing

§  Psar Neary Poipet

§  Silk Sector Development (w/ MoC)

§  Producer groups and associations

     Women's Development Centers

*      Upgrading products

*      Upgrading technical skills

*      Introduction of new technology

*      Strengthening group work and  management skills

*      Marketing support

*      Life skills training


What else is needed?

*      Expansion and scale-up of Women's  Development Center services

*      Enhanced protection of migrant workers

*      Special measures to help girls continue their educations

*      Allocation of adequate resources for gender-responsive action

*      Collaboration and support from national and local government officials






The major achievements in the economic development  are summary as follows:

- Project in Siem Reap and K.Chh called Women Development Center (WDC), facility development. Construction of the WDC building in Siem Reap and upgrading of the WDC facility in Kampong Chhnang provinces; setting up of 5 Commune Producer Group Center (CPGC); staffing, equipment and tools provision and setting up of display area; CPGC centers are functioning as well-utilized gathering areas for producer groups;

WDC in Siem Reap Sedge mat weaving Producer Group


- Life Skills Training and Advocacy Support for Women. An integrated counseling program on "Family Management and Planning Skills", was implemented, comprising the following interventions:  66 village-workshops on "Women Worker Rights and Home Safety" attended by 2,253 participants; 2 provincial workshops on "Life Skills and Family Income Generation" conducted; 27 workshops on "Repair and Maintenance of Motorcycles and Other Small Machines" was offered to 413 participants; 32 two-day workshops on "Nutrition and Sanitation" attended by 640 participants; 3 two-day workshops on "Post-harvest Processing" were attended by 60 participants in Siem Reap;  a  two-day study tour on vegetable farming was conducted for 20 women; and  26 three-day workshops on "Food Processing" were attended by 386 participants; and a five-day training-of-trainers workshop was held for 12 staff of Provincial Department of Women's Affairs (PDWA) and WDC.

- Micro- and Small Enterprise Development and Support. The Project aimed at endowing 3,000 women with entrepreneurial skills in micro- and small enterprise development. The project utilized a participatory approach to fostering market-oriented rural enterprises, implementing the following interventions: six Community Resource Assessment  (CRA) exercises; 17 village-level three-day Gender and Enterprise workshops, attended by 540 participants; the organization of 76 producer groups, comprised of 889 members; the design and implementation 

 of a substantial number of skills training sessions, focused on the production and marketing of the project-identified handicrafts such as :

Carpet training   Rattan training


(i.e., sedge mat, bamboo handicrafts, triangle sedge mats, rattan, pandanus and proa mats); assisted the WDC/PDWA conduct market research exercises, investigating the market for the focus products, recruited trainers  and communicated with likely buyers; offered marketing support to the producer groups, assisting with product exhibits, trade fairs and product exposure at various conferences.

Bamboo product in K.Chh  



Sedge Mat weaving production in K.Chh


Pandanus weaving training in Siem Reap


Display room at WDC in K.Chh


The production made from  Pandanus and triangle sedge

Blanket weaving training in WDC Siem Reap


Capacity Building and Project Management Support. The project targeted the improved capacity of 100 provincial department staff, 40 ministry staff and 20 WDC staff. Institutional strengthening was undertaken through hands-on coaching, planning, assessment and advice. Because of these interventions, staff gained the ability to utilize participatory market-oriented approaches to enterprise development, the "GET Ahead" process and PRA-CRA methodologies. These new skills, in turn, enabled them to facilitate project activities in the areas of awareness raising, counseling and skills development activities for the community and producers' groups. The project also provided senior staff with substantial exposure to inter-agency discussions on gender and enterprise development, enhancing their understanding of both concepts.

-"Food Processing" Training. Training on "Food Processing" was conducted by MoWA in the Economic Development Project. This training was held at 2 centers from 2 provinces-kampong Speu and Kampong Cham, by using national budget. 195 trainees from each province were attended. Another training on "Food Processing" was conducted for 31 participants from centers and provincial department 12 of women's affairs. This training was held by


MoWA and was financed by using national budget PB.





Food processing in K.Speu at WDC