– The Federal Lawyer, March Issue 2018 –
Cambodia is a country in transition as a result of three decades of internal violence encompassing three critical periods: (1) the Khmer Rouge regime (“KRR”) (1975-1979); (2) a period of Vietnamese-backed socialist rule (1979-1989); and (3) the civic conflict that continued until the arrival of the United Nations (“UN”) Transitional Authority in 1992.1 As a result, it is not surprising that this tumultuous history has resulted in a plethora of human rights challenges. However, some have argued that the impact on the population has not been proportionate from a human rights perspective. On the contrary, in Cambodia, and in the Southern Asia generally, women experience a disproportionate share of the disadvantages.
The vast majority result from gender inequality3 that manifests itself as entrenched discrimination in work and in life.4 It is against this challenging backdrop that Cambodia must measure the extent to which it adheres to Goal Five of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda—achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls.