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Project profile

Local Economic Leadership for Marginalised Rural Women

Cambodia has made rapid progress in its economic development, with poverty rates decreasing in recent years.  However, while Cambodia’s economy has been growing a significant proportion of the population remains in poverty, particularly in rural areas, where up to 90% of Cambodia’s poor live. Marginalised rural women are amongst those at risk of being left behind and not benefiting from market-based economic change; and at the same time, development is contributing to new vulnerabilities for rural women. Economic exclusion and vulnerability are also linked to deeply rooted gendered attitudes.


CARE Cambodia has developed considerable experience in promoting rural livelihood improvements, including improvements benefiting women; promoting market access; and supporting safe migration.  The Local Economic Leadership (LEL) project, funded by the Australian Government, draws on this experience, aiming for deeper and higher level impacts through a direct focus on genuine economic empowerment and stronger voice for marginalised rural women. The project will equip them to equitably participate in and benefit from higher valued, elevated market-based livelihood options and jobs, and adopt economic leadership roles at local levels.


CARE works in partnership with relevant Provincial line departments such as the Provincial Department of Women’s Affairs, Provincial Department of Agriculture and local authorities as key strategic partners, building capacity to support implementation of policy priorities.




Better participation in, and valuing of, rural women in higher value jobs.
This includes:


1. Marginalised rural women have increased benefits from elevated livelihood options.

2. Better valuing of elevated economic opportunities for rural women.

3. Stronger learning, evidence and national influence.


Key activities

Project activities include:
  • Providing capacity building and support to Satrey Dekneam Kaksethan (SDK) demonstration farmers to develop elevated livelihood options and conduct outreach activities to share these with other women.


  • Conducting detailed, participatory market analysis and facilitate linkages with traders or other private sector groups.


  • Promoting inclusion of women in formal Village Animal Health Worker training program.

  • Analysing current approaches to safe migration and piloting revised approaches to capture learning that will inform future activities.

  • Providing technical coaching to the Provincial Department of Women’s Affairs and supporting them to identify, plan and deliver community valuing activities.

  • Providing training and support to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to assist para-vet women and village extension workers.

  • Designing a pilot intervention on community accountability for livelihood services, supporting civil society organisations and commune councils to maintain accountability mechanisms into the future.


July 2013 –June 2017



Bottom Sakor and Srae Ambel districts in Koh Kong province



  • Direct: 832 womens (including 52 SDK/ demo-farm women leaders leading 15 members each)

  • Indirect: 2496 community members



Project partners


  • Provincial Department of Women’s Affairs

  • Provincial Department of Agriculture

  • Local Authorities


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