Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi is the Cambodian
Minister for Women’s affairs.

In Cambodia, we are forced to recognize that women do not get the proper healthcare that they ought to have, despite the heavy social and economic responsibility that women bear in our society. Some of the reasons for this lack of medical care for women are finding money for expensive treatment; pressure of traditional norms and the lack of awareness and information explain the limited access of women to healthcare. Despite progress in recent years, women still report difficulties to improve their health status and their livelihoods.

Women, by nature and by attributes, are the first persons to sacrifice themselves for the sake of other members of the family even though they are generally contributing to the earnings of the family. It is a euphemism to state that women are “volunteered” to sacrifice her interest for the interest of other members of the family.

Since childhood, a woman is educated to take care of the household; to contribute often at an early age to the family earnings. This caring may mean a girl will even sacrifice her education at school for the preservation of the boys’ schooling in the family when a decision to give priority for education comes because of lack of financial or labor resources. As a girl grows up to become a woman and a mother, her instinct as a loving mum leads her naturally to give priority for the expenditure of resources to other members of the family such as schooling, feeding, housing, and healthcare. Her own needs will be addressed later on! When she decides to come for medical care, it’s usually too late for effective treatment. We see women desperately looking for hope and for miracles to save them.

Janne and I saw these women and felt so powerless to address such silent sufferings. What should we do to rectify this suffering? We decided that our first step should be to build a hospital to treat the diseases of these women and the second step, to start prevention and education through community outreach activities for regular screening and information. The mission is ambitious; however; Janne and I keep faith in moving forward.

I have embraced this vision with my whole heart. I feel that I have to do it. I believe that whatever the personal cost to me of this vision, every challenge involved is worth the saving of lives and comforting those whose lives are racked by the pain of the silent suffering.

In participating in several fund raising events organized in Cambodia and abroad, I was deeply touched by family members, friends, acquaintances and people who were animated with the same spirit, with the same vision. The friendship, the solidarity and the support they brought and are bringing to us, deeply touches my heart. When Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital is built, we can say that its birth, this vision will belong to each of us. Without the will and endeavor of all these people, all this wouldn’t happen and the silent suffering will continue.

Therefore I would like to express how much I am delighted to be with you sharing all together the same vision, the same goal and motivation, striving to cure the silent sufferings of millions of women and their families.

Thank you for your dedication and commitment.


ING KanthaPhavi

Co founder of Nokor Tep foundation  


Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Kantha Phavi ING was reappointed Minister for Women’s Affairs in September 2008. She is responsible for the management and leadership of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. Prior to becoming Minister in 2004, Dr ING served five years as Secretary of State of Women’s and Veterans’ Affairs. In addition to her ministerial post, she was appointed in 2004 as Chairwoman of the Cambodian National Council for Women.

Dr ING was an active architect to levy Gender on the agenda of the national development (National Poverty Reduction Strategy, Cambodian MDGs, National Strategic Development Plan, UNDAF 2011-2015…) and was instrumental in developing an effective mechanism of gender mainstreaming at national and sub-national levels. Under her supervision, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs succeeded to integrate the gender issues in the laws such as the Land law, the Decentralization and Deconcentration organic laws , the new anti- trafficking of human beings and sexual exploitation law, and got the law on domestic violence and protection of the victim adopted in 2005. She continues to advocate for gender in ongoing state reforms and actually is promoting economic empowerment and increasing role in public decision making for women.

In the 1990s, Dr ING worked in France, as a private medical doctor then as director of the drugs trials department at ABR, a French enterprise involved in marketing and research for medical drugs. Dr ING also served as Deputy Secretary General in a medical NGO, Association des Medecins Cambodgiens (AMC) which provides medical and social assistance to Cambodia. From 1995 to 1997, Dr ING worked in Cambodia as technical adviser to the Ministry of Rural Development where she was responsible for community health and rural economic development programs including micro-credit.

Dr. ING holds a Doctorate of Medicine from Saint Antoine University, Paris with a specialty in nutrition and tropical diseases and a Brevet in Public Administration from Ecole Nationale d’Administration(ENA) Paris. She participated in the executive program “Leaders in Development: Managing political and economic reforms” at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (2004).

She is married to Trac Thai Sieng, an economist currently vice governor of Phnom Penh municipality.


Women, by nature and by attributes, are the first persons to sacrifice themselves for the sake of other members of the family even though they are generally contributing to the earnings of the family. It is a euphemism to state that women are “volunteered” to sacrifice her interest for the interest of other members of the family.


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