New study sheds light on links between masculinity, gender, and domestic violence in Cambodia

Prevailing views on manhood in Cambodia are similar to those found in communities around the world: men are expected to be dominant over women and the main breadwinners within the household. According to a recent study conducted by Gender and Development for Cambodia (GADC), some men also believe that men can use violence against women when their gendered roles are challenged. The study - Deoum Troung Pram Hath in Modern Cambodia: A Qualitative Exploration of Gender Norms, Masculinity and Domestic Violence – examines the links between masculinity, gender, and domestic violence and aims to help identify effective means of preventing violence against women and children. The study was conducted with support from Partners for Prevention, the International Centre for Research on Women with additional funding from the UN Trust Fund for Ending Violence against Women. A dominant view held by the respondents is that violence committed by men at home is seen less negatively than violence committed in public, reaffirming that domestic violence is regarded as a private matter rather than a crime. Significantly, the research also reveals spaces for potential change with some men expressing gender equitable and peaceful notions of manhood, although many felt unable to discuss these ideas openly because of social pressure. “The research highlights the need for greater attention to violence prevention efforts that address the root causes of violence against women,” said Ms. Ros Sopheap, Executive Director of Gender and Development for Cambodia, “These research findings will be a useful tool to review existing policies and laws and inform policymakers and others to design programs and projects to transform harmful attitudes and behaviors that can foster violence.” Recommendations from the study include: promoting non-violent and gender equitable notions of Khmer manhood; reviewing school curriculums to include ways of promoting gender equality that engage both boys and girls; training teachers and others who work with youth to promote ways to engage boys and young men in efforts to promote gender equality; and other recommendations. The research was conducted in two rural provinces of Cambodia and in the capital, Phnom Penh. The research used qualitative methodologies and included focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with married men and women, perpetrators and non-perpetrators, victims and non-victims of partner violence. For a brief summary of the key findings and recommendations from the report, see: English ( For the full report, A Qualitative Exploration of Gender Norms, Masculinity and Domestic Violence in Cambodia, see: English ( or Khmer: to be available in February 2011 For this press release in Khmer, see:

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