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Center affiliates publish report on women in law in Cambodia

Report cover page
Mar 4 2020

By Rachael Ku, Student Assistant.


Two affiliates of the Center, Daniel Mattes and Somaly Kum, recently published a Research Compendium on the Women in Law in Cambodia, along with their colleague, Muy Seo, a researcher and law lecturer at the Royal University of Law and Economics in Cambodia. The Women in Law program was organized by the Center for Humanitarian Law (CSHL) with the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford to bring together women for intensive research workshops with particular focus on professional development, mentoring, leadership, and networking in the legal sector.

The compendium includes: a policy report based on data and interviews gathered by the program partners at CSHL and the Stanford Center; four policy briefs written by research seminar participants; summaries of an informational booklet and video created by the seminar participants; and six reflection essays from interns who worked at Phnom Penh law firms through a placement program organized by the Women in Law project.

“The overriding evidence—demonstrated repeatedly in public events, data and interview analysis, and government policy research—suggests a clear nexus between social norms of discrimination and family expectation and the lack of female participation or leadership in the political and legal spheres,” the authors write in the policy report.

They recommend more networking and research opportunities and more programs for professional and personal development for women, as well as the necessity for more involvement in combating gender discrimination. “Women cannot shoulder the burden of ending discrimination alone,” the authors argue. “Men play an important role—in the home, in the workplace, in government and in daily life—in fighting discrimination against women.... This is an issue for all of society.”