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Al Jazeera marks International Womenís Day

Rape and violence is on the rise towards women, Al Jazeera airs two programmes on why that is the case.
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2013 10:40
UN Report on violence and rape highlighted a growing problem of gang rape in Cambodia by men.

• Documentary speaks to Cambodian men who admit to rape and violence against women.

• Talkshow South 2 North will unpack the issues with Indian and South African specialists.

As part of International Women’s Day, Al Jazeera’s 101 East programme has interviewed men who admit to carrying out gang rape in Cambodia.

According to a UN report on the growing problem of sexual violence towards women in the Asia-Pacific region, Cambodia has one of the highest rates of gang rape

Al Jazeera obtained new research from four UN agencies on violence towards women. 10,000 thousand men across seven countries in the Asia-Pacific were interviewed with startling results. One in four said they had raped a woman or girl in their lives. One in twenty admitted to taking part in gang rape. 

101 East spoke to some Cambodian men who admitted to rape and violence against women. The men told Al Jazeera that they had started raping early, often in their teenage years and were frequently motivated by sexual entitlement.

One man who hid his identity told Al Jazeera: “So, we call up a girl, any girl. If she is pretty we trick her to sleep with us, a normal girl, a girl in a shop for example, we get her drunk. Then one of us will take her to have sex, she doesn’t know the rest of us will join in.” 

Another said: “Yes I think it is forced sex. That’s what it is; I force her to have sex with us. If I ask them nicely and they still refuse, the only way is to force them.”

The research confirmed that there is no single cause of violence, but a complex interplay of factors related to individual experiences, community norms, and societal elements.

In the survey, multiple reasons for rape were presented. 46% of the men said sexual entitlement was the most common reason, with anger, punishment, fun and boredom featuring more prominently in Cambodia than in any other country.

At least half of the men admitted they carried out their first rape when they were a teenager, with 15% of the men saying they were under the age of 15 when they first committed rape.

Emma Fulu, UN researcher on violence against women told Al Jazeera: “Cambodia actually we found one of the highest rates of gang rape in any of the countries we studied, so 5% of men reported that they had participated in gang rape in Cambodia. In other countries we found it was around 1-2%, there is a dimension where it’s almost sport like, where young men, men egg each other on in terms of the perpetration of violence against women.  And the degree, to which that social dimension happens, to me, is really a deep problem for Cambodia”. 

Talkshow South 2 North will meanwhile aim to unpack the issues surrounding the subject. Host Redi Tlhabi will discuss the topic with Professor Ratna Kapur (legal and gender expert at Jindal Global Law School in India), Professor Farid Esack (appointed by Nelson Mandela as a gender equity commissioner), and Dr. Amelia Kleijn (South African social worker). India and South Africa are two countries that have recently had rape cases hit international headlines.


  • “It’s a Man’s World” on 101 East will be first aired on Thursday, 7th March 2013 at 2230GMT. The trailer can be viewed here http://youtu.be/3l0A8e1VlyA
  • South 2 North airs on Friday, 8th March 2013 at 1930GMT, and repeats Saturday at 1430, Sunday 0430 and Monday 0830
  • Al Jazeera correspondent Aela Callan writes on her experience of talking to men who raped http://aje.me/WIN9yl


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