27 February 2013, Phnom Penh – Strey Khmer launched the findings of its 6-month research project “They Took my Land, They Took My Life: A report on the psychosocial impacts of land evictions on women in Cambodia”. The event was attended by members of local NGOs, human rights activists, media representatives, and women from the communities interviewed by the organization.
For this baseline study, Strey Khmer researchers interviewed a total of 40 women from 4 provinces (Phnom Penh, Kampong Speu, Battambang and Kampong Thom) who had been affected by land evictions. From that data, we analyzed the economic and psychological impacts, in addition to surveying support services available in each of the interview locations.
Overall, all the participants in the study experienced a worsening standard of living as a result of the loss of land and livelihoods. Additionally, women reported symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and depression. It was found that no therapeutic or counselling services had been available to any of these women, and very little NGO support in general was available in the rural locations.
Emotions rose as 5 women representing 5 of the communes interviewed came to the front to share their experiences with the audience. Women from Phnom Penh discussed violent arrests during peaceful protests, women from Kampong Speu and Battambang shared their heartache from their losses. The women from Kampong Thom continue to be threatened with arrest to this day for their opposition to the land grabs.
Despite their struggles, the conference ended with women from all the provinces gathered together, sharing their stories, and wishing one another luck as they continued back to their homelands.
Below are attachments to Strey Khmer’s summary report, policy brief, and research summary:
SKO Summary Report (English)
SKO Policy Brief (English)
SKO Research Brief (English)