sophea chrek

Activist, campaigner, researcher/scholar
Nationality: Cambodian
Living in: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Fields of work: food systems and food sovereignty, women’s rights, labour rights, public policy and governance, people’s movement building

“Commitment and courage are essential values. I’m committed to fighting for socio-political and economic justice, with whatever capacity I have, and no matter where I’m at.”
— sophea chrek

“I am a feminist activist. I have been involved in socio-political and economic justice work and campaigning for almost 10 years. 

“My skills and knowledge have been gradually built and sharpened by my activism, by the work that I’ve been involved in, as well as through the privilege of being part of local organisations and people’s struggles and actions.

“I have been part of campaigns that aim to expose the harms and negative impacts of large-scale investment projects on people’s lives, the environment, and local economies. I have carried out critical analyses of governance, of inequalities of wealth and access, and of the capture of local people’s resources by elites, powerful politicians and corporations.

“I have provided support to local groups who are working to end the exploitation of the working class, and especially women; to farmers calling for fairer markets and for support from the government; to those fighting for the right to work, and campaigning to access adequate services at public hospital facilities. I have also written articles that highlight how current economic models have served to deepen inequality and injustice. 

“I believe that systematic change is possible when people’s power is exercised and consolidated.”
sophea chrek

Twitter: @sopheachrek

“What gives me hope? Courageous events that show that change is possible. One was the election of the Malaysian prime minister last year, with Malaysian people exercising their power to change their leadership. Another was the rise of new political parties in Thailand: one is led by young progressive entrepreneurs, and has had a transgender person and more women standing as a parliamentary candidates. Another party, despite having few human and material resources, has pushed through and put a grassroots people’s agenda in their political manifesto. 

I’m surrounded by courageous women, organisations and individuals. Even when I am fed up and exhausted, they inspire me to keep going. They always find a way to expose issues and challenge the system, whether through art, engagement with progressive politicians, or taking to the street. As long as we do not give up hope, progressive change is possible. We need to play our part in building movements. Even though change may not happen in our time, new generations will take it forward.”
— sophea chrek