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UNFPA partners with Wesley Zaidan to support a Pathway to Gender Equality in Cambodia: Safeguarding Women and Young Girls against GBV


28th January 2022, PHNOM PENH – the United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA) has signed a partnership agreement with Wesley Zaidan, a well-known public benefit organization in Japan, to work together to prevent and protect women and girls in Cambodia from Gender-Based Violence (GBV). This partnership will contribute to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, Goal 3 on health and well-being for all and Goal 5 on Gender Equality and empowering all women and girls.


In Cambodia, over 30 per cent of women have ever experienced physical, sexual or emotional intimate partner violence in their lifetime, and this prevalence is estimated to be getting worse due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, not all GBV survivors are accessing the services they need despite that many policies and GBV response services have been established in Cambodia; Only 24 per cent of women who have experienced intimate partner violence could receive support from formal service providers. With the recent proliferation of the internet in Cambodia, people are now more actively searching the information and services for GBV through the internet and social networking service. The number of searches increased by 52 per cent compared to before the COVID-19 community outbreak in Cambodia.


Under this strategic partnership agreement, we will work closely with the Ministry of Women Affairs to develop and introduce an innovative digital platform; a mobile application to educate women and young people on sexual harassment, which includes useful information such as how to identify and protect themselves from any forms of violence, and to protect them from incidents of GBV with an alert function to seek help in an emergency.  In addition, the project will work on strengthening the coordination mechanism among existing services both under government and CSOs to respond to the needs of victims.


“Women and girls safety and free from fears of being harassed and violated in public spaces and at home is our top priority. We believe that the new innovative digital technology platform will help prevent and protect vulnerable women and girls from all forms of violence in Cambodia during and beyond the pandemic,” said Mr Golden Mulilo, Representative a.i., UNFPA Cambodia.


Ms. Hikari Kokai, Representative Director of Wesley Zaidan said, “Empowerment of women requires the society where they know and utilize their own personal gifts and talents with confidence and joy without fear and discrimination. We believe this project promotes the empowerment of women and girls in Cambodia and contributes to the elimination of gender-based violence in Asia, and in the world."


This partnership project will start in February 2022. The project will contribute to improving access to essential information and services to protect vulnerable women and girls from sexual harassment and GBV and accelerate the progress to achieve the goal to eliminate GBV and advance gender equality in Cambodia.



UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency that ensures every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and young people’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA has been present in Cambodia since 1993 and supported the Royal Government of Cambodia to accelerate progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the International Conference on Population and Development, whose goal is to achieve universal access to services and information on sexual reproductive health and rights, reduce maternal mortality, and end all forms of GBV.


About Wesley Zaidan

The Wesley Zaidan Japan is a public benefit organization established in 2010, remembering the legacy of missionaries who have worked for education and welfare development in Japan and the Asia-Pacific Region. We conduct overseas and domestic seminars, Grants and global partnership projects based on our mission of "to nurture leaders who work for social justice in Japan and around the world" with the motto of "Faith, Hope, Love in Action."