Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Safe City for Girls’ project underway in Siem Reap

‘Safe City for Girls’ project underway in Siem Reap

A training to implement the ‘Safe City for Girls’ project was held in Siem Reap province on September 6. PLAN INTERNATIONAL CAMBODIA
A training to implement the ‘Safe City for Girls’ project was held in Siem Reap province on September 6. PLAN INTERNATIONAL CAMBODIA

‘Safe City for Girls’ project underway in Siem Reap

Plan International, in collaboration with Siem Reap-based Women’s Resource Centre, is implementing the “Safe City for Girls” project to ensure the safety of 1,500 girls and young women in Siem Reap’s public spaces.

According to an action document obtained by The Post on September 7, the Women’s Resource Centre is directly overseeing the initiative, with a three-year budget exceeding $280,000 from Plan International.

“Project implementation will occur in 10 schools in Siem Reap, including three universities, five high schools, and two junior high schools. The focus is on taking action to stop sexual harassment and harassment of girls in public spaces,” the document stated.

The document further expresses the expectation that upon completion, girls and young women will feel safer when travelling in public areas such as entertainment places, communities, and streets. Additionally, participants will have increased opportunities for involvement in development and city governance while having access to secure urban mobility.

On September 6, the two organisations joined forces to provide training to approximately 40 students at Build Bright University in Siem Reap.

The training aimed to educate them about sexual harassment and raise awareness among young people on creating safe environments for teenage girls and young women.

Yi Kimthan, deputy country director for Plan International Cambodia, told The Post that these efforts aim to enhance safety and inclusivity for teenage girls and young women in town.

The project includes activities to raise awareness among young people and the general public about creating a safe environment for girls and young women in Siem Reap.

Kimthan also pointed out that this project contributes to enabling young women to have a voice in Siem Reap’s planning and development processes.

“The project will make girls in Siem Reap feel secure and more able to move around without fear of abuse. We have educated both girls and boys on promoting girls’ rights and reducing discrimination and abuse,” he explained.

Bun Pov, an 18-year-old Grade 11 student in Siem Reap who attended the project’s training, highlighted that girls often don’t feel safe when travelling or going to public places, especially at night. Some parents restrict their daughters’ activities due to fears of harassment by boys.

“Recently, a girl was cycling to school when a group of men shouted at her, making her feel unsafe. Through this project, I have gained valuable knowledge about gender concepts, gender-based violence, and sexual harassment,” Pov said.

Ratha, another 18-year-old Grade 11 student, shared that she used to be reserved and hesitant to speak with adults due to fear of powerful individuals and local authorities.

However, after completing the training course, Ratha felt more aware of her rights and more courageous.

She is particularly committed to challenging and resisting abuse against girls and ensuring safety in public spaces without harassment.

“I volunteered to become a Youth Ambassador. I’ve actively worked on raising awareness about gender concepts and combating sexual harassment among students in my school and neighbouring schools,” she said.

“As a representative, I’ve participated in commune and municipal committee meetings, providing insights on women and children’s issues. This has allowed me to engage with numerous decision-makers and boost my confidence,” she shared.

With this increase in self-assurance, Ratha hopes to inspire other girls and young women to be courageous and feel safe in public spaces, whether it’s daytime or night time. She envisions a future where their safety is assured and they are shielded from abuse.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Tina rebuffs ‘false claims’ over falling paddy price

    Agriculture minister Dith Tina has shed light on the trade of paddy rice in Battambang – Cambodia’s leading rice-producing province – in a bid to curb what he dubs a “social media fact distortion campaign” to destabilise the market. While acknowledging that the prices of paddy

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • PM outlines plans to discuss trade, policy during US visit

    Prime Minister Hun Manet is set to meet with senior US officials and business leaders during his upcoming visit to the US for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 20. While addressing nearly 20,000 workers in Kampong Speu province, Manet said he aims to affirm