A Qualitative Exploration of Gender Norms, Masculinity and Domestic Violence in Cambodia

Prevailing views on manhood in Cambodia include that men are expected to be dominant over women and main breadwinners of households, according to a recent study conducted by Gender and Development for Cambodia (GADC). Such expectations of male dominance are considered key factors leading to husbands’ use of violence to “police” and “enforce” gender norms if it is perceived that a wife has failed in her “duty”. Significantly, the research also revealed spaces of change with some men expressing gender equitable and peaceful notions of manhood, although many felt unable to discuss these ideas openly because of social pressure.