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Cambodia Creates Award to Encourage Women to Get Into Technology

Tan Eng Kanchnith, sophomore student at Institute of Technology of Cambodia and a Cambodia candidate from YSEALI STEM Education workshop talks to reporters during the opening ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on February 28, 2018.(Tum Malis/VOA Khmer)

The award was created to try and narrow the gender divide in the technology sector.

The government has launched a new award for tech-savvy women who actively contribute to the growth of the technology sector in Cambodia.

Women working in technology or developing community projects using innovative tech solutions can nominate themselves for the Cambodian Women in Tech award, which will be given out on March 7.

The award was created to try and narrow the gender divide in the technology sector.

Tan Sodany, Cambodia’s director of information technology policy, said: “We want more engagement from women in the tech sector, and we want more contributions from them to develop the tech sector. It also allows Cambodia to step forward and become a digital economy.”

Tan Eng Kachnith, an engineering student at Phnom Penh’s Institute of Technology, said that her parents had not been happy when she told them she wanted to pursue a technical subject at university.

“They are afraid that a woman will not be able to find a job in the tech sector as society views men as better,” she said.

“More than 50 percent of Cambodians are women. We need more professionals in the tech sector, so if women do not get involved, it will be difficult for the country to develop.”

Sok Sopheakmongkol, CEO of Codingate, said the award would help young women with potential find mentors. “Women are interested in it, but there’s no-one for them to look up to. No-one has become a star or role model in the tech industry.”

So far, twenty-six women have been nominated for the award. Three winners will be selected for three separate awards: the ICT Engineer Award, the Cambodian Woman ICT Entrepreneur Award, and the Cambodian Woman ICT For Community Award.

The winners will receive support from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and become ambassadors for the sector.