March, 2019


Feminist festivals: Women, Art and Empowerment in Phnom Penh

Organized by a group of local and expat women, Cambodia hosted its first feminist arts festival by celebrating empowering women and emphasis on women’s rights and gender equality in the Kingdom.

The Vagina Monologues – exploring the mystery, humor, pain, power, wisdom, outrage and excitement in women’s experiences – will be the centerpiece of this year’s inaugural PFF.

The play, considered a pioneering piece of feminist arts and culture, had been translated into 46 languages, for the first time, these two monologues will be presented in Khmer.

In the past decade, Cambodia has seen an increase of feminist voices and a nascent movement emerge through prominent figures trailblazing the way for contemporary Khmer women including Catherine Harry, whom had championed the Cambodian feminist movement calling for awareness of sexual consent, and Thavry Thon, the author of “A Proper Woman” by addressing women’s oppression.

The work of these local women, and many more, had a positive impact in Cambodia, normalizing the discussion of women’s issues, which have previously been a taboo subject.

However, O Mahony says there is still a major lack of awareness of gender rights among many Cambodians, which led PFF to host the festival. The purpose is to create a platform for Cambodian women to take the stage, sharing their stories and experiences, expressing themselves through music, art and dance by establishing a safe and positive environment for feminist discourse.

All profits from the Vagina Monologues which performed by the community amateur dramatics theatre group of Phnom Penh Players, will go directly to non-profit local human rights NGO Early Years Behind Bars - an organization supporting women, mothers and children in Cambodia’s prison.

In order to make the festival accessible to all, especially to focus on encouraging Cambodians to participate, representative of PFF’s organizer - Shauna O Mahony announce that the festival will be free entry but Vagina Monologues performances will be charge USD 10 per admission to foreigner and Cambodian will be under discounted rate.


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