Action is the term for Peace: Reflecting on women leadership on International Day of Peace

Every September, the International Day of Peace is commemorated to emphasize and strengthen peace and peace-building efforts.

The year’s theme “Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals” highlights the importance of recognizing both individual and collective activities and responsibilities toward fostering peace as a step closer to gender equality. Gender equality is an integral component of building lasting peace. When women have equal opportunities, rights, and a voice in decision-making processes, societies become more resilient and inclusive.

As we celebrate this significant day, CARE International in Cambodia reflects on our partnership with prominent people of peace-building advocating for a focus on local communities.

Srey Sotheavy, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT), a local NGO based in Phnom Penh has dedicated more than a decade working in peacebuilding specifically among Indigenous communities and in addressing communal conflicts. ACT has been instrumental in bridging connections in communities facing issues ranging from environmental impacts to gender-based violence.

As a strong advocate for peace, Sotheavy firmly believes in the importance of peacebuilding and shared her reflections on the importance of the day: “Peacebuilding is crucial because conflict is an inherent part of life, and every individual must be aware of and conscious of the right way to act. We all need to work towards practicing appropriate behaviors in society by respecting all human rights for social justice.”


ACT it is one of CARE’s local partners for the Feminist in Action project. This project collaborates with six women-led organizations, focusing on enhancing their capacity and supporting their actions to empower marginalized groups and promote gender equality across Cambodia. Funded by Agence Française de Développement, this project anticipates the impact CARE and our local partners can contribute to gender equality.

Sotheavy’s dedication to the community and women’s empowerment underscores her belief that women’s strong presence can fulfill the security needed for community peace. Sotheavy shares:

Feminists in Action has the opportunity to strengthen and empower local organizations to be leaders and engage in social responsiveness, without women being secure and equal, peace cannot be fulfilled

Srey Sotheavy


As broad as the concept of peacebuilding is, identifying ways to address issues facing our society requires local attention from communities themselves, as Sotheavy explained “The idea is that all people should be able to analyze what peace, conflict, and violence mean and how they can develop strategies for conflict resolution and transformation in their lives and society.”

Promoting peace for gender equality means recognizing the interdependence of these goals and working together to create a world where everyone, regardless of their gender, can thrive in an environment of justice and understanding. Young people, activists, women, and men of all ages and backgrounds play a crucial role in fostering peace and as we recognize International Day of Peace, collective action and engagement remain essential.