The changing face of Cambodian leadership

Eight years since ascending into a leadership position with the most active human rights organisation in Cambodia, Chak Sopheap has never forgotten a debate she had with herself about whether she should accept the promotion. 

The story of a young, female leader would be an inspiration to an enthusiastic new generation, she reasoned. Her rise could show others it wasn’t the route of their success that mattered, but the challenges they overcame. 

Yet she also was aware that in a nation where the older establishment discourages youth and women from taking public roles, and young people help sustain a ‘culture of silence’ about politics, Sopheap and other activists face numerous obstacles. 

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