AFD has been supporting developing countries for eight decades and will soon celebrate three decades of working in Cambodia. In Paris and throughout the world, this anniversary was an opportunity to look to the future and ask ourselves what kind of world we want to build by 2101. In Cambodia, the issue was approached from a gender perspective, looking at ways to improve women's rights and involvement in society in order to build a more equal and just world.
The portraits of women in the "Women's Voices" exhibition, taken by Cambodian photographer Sereyrath Mech, capture their determination to break down the barriers that hinder their emancipation. Their testimonies show how they are pushing the envelope on a daily basis to make sure that Cambodia's future is also driven by women.
The inauguration took place in the gardens of the French residence with the French Ambassador to Cambodia, Jacques Pellet, the AFD Director in Cambodia, Ophélie Bourhis, and several Cambodian partners in attendance who praised the quality of Cambodia's cooperation with AFD over the past three decades. In attendance were Hem Vanndy, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Economy and Finance, on behalf of Aun Pornmoniroth, Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Keo Rattanak, Minister Attaché to the Prime Minister and Director General of Electricity of Cambodia (EdC), and Cham Prasidh, Minister of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation.
To create this exhibition, AFD hired Minor Act, a young participatory design agency. "Today, you will only see the final rendering of this project hanging on the wall. But it's the process by which the Women's Voices exhibition was put together that's important,” said one of the designers at Minor Act. “The creation of this exhibition was based on listening, watching, perceiving, discussing, and taking the ideas into account with total equality. The project was created with special attention paid to each person's personal story, with solidarity and a shared commitment to best capture the unique power of today's women's voices.”
AFD applies this commitment to the projects it supports. AFD Group's gender and development approach aims at a more equitable distribution of resources and opportunities and a strengthening of equality in terms of participation and leadership for a fairer balance between women and men.
To do this, we take gender inequalities into account in each of our funding programs to propose tailored responses to improve the integration of women. As a feminist agency, our role is to agree with our partners on these key issues and to co-build a mutual understanding of gender inequalities in order to propose joint solutions.