Introduction: Gender and Education in Cambodia

Posted by khmernews on November 13, 2006

Although Cambodia has made good progress in education, gender inequality still remains a major challenge in this sector. Boys and girls start schooling on equal footing in primary education but dropout rate among girl students starts to go up with their grade improvement, particularly after completion of secondary level.

Education is one of the sectors where gender issues might be profound. It has two-prong effects with relation to gender. It can address gender equality through widening women’s life choices on one hand. On the other hand, gender blind education can reinforce gender inequality through constructing gender stereotypes.

Gender issues in education sector including high illiteracy rates among women, high dropout rates of girls, and teaching of Chbab Srey in textbooks have long-term implications for women’s economic independence, health, decision-making capacities and their overall empowerment.

Study reveals that poverty, distant location of school, son preference of family in schooling and societal expectation that daughters should be the caregivers in the households futher limit girl’s education.

Goal 2 of the Cambodia Millennium Development Goals (CMDGs) makes explicit provision to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education. Furthermore, the Royal Government of Cambodia’s (RGC) ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) obliges it to promote female education in the country.

Extracted from:
-Gender View: Gender and Education in Cambodia,  #02  March- April 2006, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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