Traditionally Cambodian women are responsible for the home, water, health, sanitation, food – also agriculture.
Rural Cambodian men are customarily hunter-gatherers, fishing, collecting timber, gathering forest products and hunting wildlife. In recent times the conventional ‘male’ roles have become more difficult as resources have depleted or the activities have become illegal. Our activities increase the status and earning-potential of agriculture, a traditional female activity, which has resulted in the increase in status of women and in many cases, men stepping in to support their wives in the female roles.
Most of our other activities, such as renewable energy, water and sanitation all fall into all women’s traditional domain. It is mainly women who collect the firewood and household’s water, taking 2-3 hours out of their days. We introduce rainwater harvesting, placing a clean water source next to homes and renewable energy in the form of biogas, freeing up time otherwise spent collecting firewood. It gives back women hours of their day; hours to be spent on other projects like income generation or just more leisure time. This is really important in subsistence communities where leisure time is very, very rare.