Supporting Economic Empowerment for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV)

Supporting Economic Empowerment for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV)

The Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) Program, in coordination with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), is supporting the Women’s Development Centre in Siem Reap and Kampong Speu provinces to pilot a project aimed at advancing the economic empowerment of women, including those with disabilities, who are at risk of Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

On 26 May 2022, Australian Ambassador Pablo Kang and H.E Dr Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Women’s Affairs, attended the launch of a pilot project on economic empowerment of women that are vulnerable to GBV (2022-2023). This one-year project will demonstrate a sustainable model of economic empowerment for GBV survivors including those with disabilities. This will be achieved through vocational and soft skills training to address and enhance the economic wellbeing of their households.

H.E Dr Phavi expressed during the launch that enhancing women’s economic empowerment was focused on expanding the environment and opportunities for women and girls to embody their rights, choices, potentials, and talents in all kinds of economic activities. When women’s economic empowerment improves, it will have a positive impact on their other rights, including the right of decision-making in the family, protection from violence, and increased welfare in the family.

H.E Dr Phavi added that to ensure the success of the pilot project, the participation and collaboration of related partners with MoWA and the two Provincial Women’s Affairs (PDoWA) was essential. In addition, to developing capacity and skills of beneficiaries, soft skills, leadership, and digital knowledge should be included, as well as an increase in training and consulting programs.

Ambassador Kang expressed in his remarks that women’s economic empowerment was central to realising women’s rights and gender equality and to achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. He added, ‘I would like to congratulate H.E Dr Ing Kantha Phavi and the team of MoWA for prioritising women’s economic empowerment and for making it a strong commitment of Cambodia’s ASEAN chairmanship this year. I am fully confident that this pilot project will result in tangible changes in the lives of vulnerable women.’

During the launch, the MoWA team from its Economic Department presented the project framework of economic empowerment and highlighted activities that support vulnerable women. Participants from MoWA, related partners, and women with disabilities actively discussed the planned activities. Women with disabilities shared their experience and challenges faced when accessing services due to physical accessibility. These women informed the team that consideration should be given to ensuring physical accessibility for them when engaging with the project’s activities.

The Australian Government, through the ACCESS Program, is working in partnership with the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Implementing Partners to improve the sustainability, quality, and inclusiveness of services to persons with disabilities and women affected by GBV.