New study sheds light on links between masculinity, gender and domestic violence in Cambodia
December 10, 2010, Phnom Penh - Prevailing views on manhood in Cambodia include that men are expected to be dominant over women and main breadwinners of households, according to a recent study conducted by Gender and Development for Cambodia (GADC). Such expectations of male dominance are considered key factors leading to husbands’ use of violence to “police” and “enforce” gender norms if it is perceived that a wife has failed in her “duty”. Significantly, the research also revealed spaces of 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 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 girls. The study was conducted with support from Partners for Prevention, a UNDP, UNFPA, UNIFEM and UNV regional programme for Asia and the Pacific; International Centre for Research on Women; and the UN Trust Fund.
The research found that a dominant view held by survey respondents include 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.
“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 understandings of 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; amongst 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:
For the full report, A Qualitative Exploration of Gender Norms, Masculinity and Domestic Violence in Cambodia, see:
Khmer: to be available in February 2011
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