32Gender Studies Curriculum Development

By: Mr. Min Seiha

The Gender and Development for Cambodia (GADC) organization has been working to promote adequate gender studies courses and curriculum in universities across the nation. According to their website one of their main goals is to, “create a demand for gender equality.” In an attempt to make this demand real in the eyes of the Cambodian youth, especially young university students, GADC has made it a priority to develop gender studies curriculum and encourage universities to not only offer the course but require it as well. As a part of a four part program to encourage equality on a professional, local and household level; GADC paired up with the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) under an initiative seeking to create streamlined gender studies curriculum in a project entitled, “Gender Mainstreaming in Academic Year.”

On July 9th, 2014 Mrs. Ros Sopheap, Executive Director of GADC, Mrs. Ngim Hema, the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Social Science at RUPP and Ms. Nakagawa Kasumi, of Pannasastra University of Cambodia, led a consultative workshop with about 25 participants from public and private academic institutions, government staff and NGOs, in order to discuss the draft curriculum and develop key areas of focus.
Ms. Nakagawa Kasumi presented the draft gender curriculum that RUPP and GADC have been working on and improving over the years. The curriculum presented included topics such as, gender mainstreaming for sustainable development; gender situation in Cambodia; women’s economic empowerment; and a series of four gender based violence topics; among many others.

After her presentation, there was a brief discussion where the attendees had a chance to share their experiences with gender equality curriculum and thoughts about the benefits and challenges with the proposed draft. As a result of the discussion, it was recommended to include gender studies in the required curriculum for foundation year, as it is a critical foundation of knowledge in an evolving gender landscape; politically, economically, educationally and internally.

Mr. Min Seiha, Associate Dean for the College of Social Science at the University of Cambodia, was interviewed by a reporter from the Cambodia Daily about UC’s gender studies curriculum. He was delighted to share that UC currently offers a gender studies course that raises awareness of women’s rights and the importance of gender mainstreaming. The course entitled, Perspective on Women in Society, is a required course for all students in the College of Social Science and is offered as an elective course for other students to take as a part of their general education requirements.
UC is proud to offer a course that fulfills the proposed guidelines for gender studies and believes that this course has helped to promote gender awareness and equality within the UC community and beyond.