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Women and Leadership 4.0 - Cambodia as ASEAN Chair

Opening Remarks: H.E Dr Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Cambodia


  • Ms Channe Suy Lan, Managing Director, InSTEED iLab, Cambodia

  • Mrs Seng Takakneary, Founder CWEA, Cambodia

  • Dr Seanglidet Yean, Research Fellow NTU, Cambodia

In her Opening Remarks, H.E.Dr Ing Kantha Phavi stated that whilst the pandemic continues to disrupt global development, it has also encouraged ASEAN Member States to push for unity and cooperation to maintain regional stability and prosperity. ASEAN initiatives such as ASEAN Women Leaders’ Summit 2020 and ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women showcase the increasing significance of gender equality, women’s leadership, and their participation in a crisis management scenario as well as for a post-pandemic recovery path.

As the Chair of ASEAN in 2022, Cambodia is committed to advocate for inclusive gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. "

key takeaways

Dr Yean shared her views on how to nurture young women to take leadership roles especially in STEM and how to help women into those leadership roles. To achieve this, it is critical to tackle public misconceptions about women pursuing higher education in the STEM fields. She further explained how male involvement could be beneficial in supporting gender equality and transparency in the recruitment process hence boosting the chances of more women in leadership roles.

Ms Takakneary shared how Cambodia has seen a significant increase in the number of women in leadership roles over the past decade, adding that the use of ICT has proven critical in promoting women’s empowerment. As a proponent of female leaders, her work with Cambodia Women Entrepreneurs Association (CWEA) is heavily engaged in the promotion of gender equality and offering support for female entrepreneurs who lead small and medium enterprises. CWEA additionally provides legal consultation for women-led e-commerce businesses.

Ms Lan expressed her opinion on the importance of female teachers to integrate and incorporate ICT in the curricula of public schools as it would inspire more girls to consider and choose ICT or STEM as their career path. She also explained how the entrepreneurial drive of Cambodians have resulted in various programmes focused on the growth of female entrepreneurs and transitioning their businesses online.


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