Cambodian elections: The women who lost their land and are now fighting for power

Women have long been at the forefront of protests against land grabbing in Cambodia. Now some are running for office in an attempt to bring about change

For as long as she has been able to vote, Sok Da has supported the Cambodian People’s party (CPP). But on Sunday, the 44-year-old will turn on the party that has ruled Cambodia for decades: not only is she supporting the opposition in local commune elections, she’s standing as a candidate.

For Da, it is the last resort in her long battle for justice after her family’s 8.5 hectares of farmland were seized and their home demolished in 2014. “I shouted that they should kill me if they want to clear my land,” she says, adding that she was detained for four nights by police after the incident. “Now I am living with my younger sister, because I do not have my own land any more,” she says. “I’m so heartbroken.”

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