This International Women's Day we celebrate three women who are leading the way in rural Cambodia. Watch our video to meet Koem Toch, Nim Mao and Choung Hach.
Koem Toch helps navigate complicated relationship issues such as domestic violence. She says "I help my community to solve their problems. I am the person who will take a pregnant woman to the health centre or provincial hospital when she is having her baby. I teach them not to be afraid to ask for help from medical staff. Sometimes when I am away for work in a different village, the villagers now know they can go on their own. Before they were ignorant but now they can speak for themselves. I have taught them to be brave and they are better than they were."
Nim Mao is a key member of her community, but her life has not been without struggle. Despite the obstacles she has faced personally, she says "I want the children to get a better education, get good jobs, and have lives that are not as difficult as my generation had. I want my children to get a high education. I don’t want them to be poor and have a hard life like me. I want them to do what they want to do in life, and have choices. For example, they want to go to school, and they go by themselves without me pushing them to go. When I see this, I am so happy.”
Choung Hach is the first female village leader we've come across. She says "I don’t want to have only men leaders. We are women, we can get a good education for the next generation and they can lead. I don’t want to lose what we have gained, and never go back to before. Now our society has developed so it is not like before. I want the next generation of girls, and their children and grandchildren, to study, be educated, be leaders, have a job, and don’t expect all from the man."
These 3 women inspire us. We are honoured to know them and work with them.