June 2019.

The Gender Task Force is a youth led community group mobilised our partner Live and Learn Cambodia to increase gender equality, and leadership opportunities for women and young people.  Community members, especially women and young people, in Chak commune are impacted by gender norms that inhibit them taking a participatory role in community development process. Gender based violence is a significant barrier to women and youth participating in the community. Women and young people are some of the most vulnerable members of these communities when it comes to resource allocation and management.

The Gender Task Force has 26 members, including 15 people aged between 18 and 29, and ten adults. The group has had special recognition from local authorities, working to drive change regarding gender and inclusiveness in the community.  Three of the four executive committee positions are held by women.  Established in 2018, Gender Task Force members have received training to enable them to conduct events and workshops to promote gender equality in the wider Chak community.  Their leadership has also been acknowledged through recognition from the Commune Council, and the request to undertake community education to reduce the spread of dengue fever.

 

“This motivates me to continue in my role despite the challenges”

 

One participant noted the benefits of being involved in our projects on both community and personal levels.  Her family encouraged her to pursue a leadership role within the Gender Task Force. “Before, I dared not be nominated as a secretary and lead community work… this motivates me to continue in my role despite the challenges”. Through the support and guidance of her fellow Gender Task Force members, she challenged a compensation payment offered when government construction negatively affected her grocery shop and fruit trees. “I used my skills and knowledge to advocate and receive compensation in accordance with the correct type of payment, even though my neighbours did not support it”.