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Women’s Empowerment Program (WORTH)


September 2004 - May 2007


US Department of State.


Women studying from the Road
 to Wealth handbook

The Women’s Empowerment Program (WORTH) empowers poor Cambodian women through village-based savings groups - Women's Empowerment Groups - and non-formal literacy education by helping them to achieve literacy, produce income and evolve as social leaders. 

The program objectives and materials of the program are built on a series of three detailed research projects that examined national adult literacy programs, microfinance in Cambodia, and the origins and vulnerability factors of trafficked women in Cambodia. 

The target beneficiaries of the pilot program are residents of 5 districts in 3 provinces that were identified as highly susceptible to trafficking. 

The WORTH Approach

Pact’s WORTH approach to women’s empowerment is based upon a highly successful USAID-sponsored program in Nepal that has reached over 125,000 women. This program combined savings groups and non-formal literacy education to give women the tools to their own empowerment. In three years the Nepal WORTH program helped 125,000 women attain literacy, increase savings by over one million dollars, and improve their net annual income from $1.2 million to over $10 million. The women also participated in over 40,000 grassroots campaigns addressing issues such as human trafficking, domestic violence, property rights, and women’s education.


To increase the self-confidence and self-determination of poor Cambodian women by revealing to them that they have the capacity to make positive changes within their lives. The WORTH program will prevent trafficking of Cambodian women through economic development, increased levels of education, and women’s empowerment.


  • Improve the literacy and numeracy skills of more than 2000 women.

  • Increase the income of more than 2000 poor Cambodian women through micro enterprise development.

  • Empower women to initiate advocacy actions in their communities regarding domestic violence, trafficking and other issues of priority as identified by the women.

 Achievements to Date

  • Women’s Empowerment Groups - In collaboration with five local NGO partners, WORTH has trained local women who serve as Empowerment Workers -to liaise with village women in their local areas and build the capacity of the 20-member Women's Empowerment Groups.

  • WORTH resources -  Based on the Pact global WORTH training curricula, two literacy and savings-instruction modules have been adapted to reflect local Cambodian needs and widely distributed.

  • Building Capacity - WORTH has provided a wide range of skills-based training to its local partners and the Women’s Empowerment Groups, including facilitation and communication, management and leadership skills, and accounting/ financial management.


Address: Phnom Penh Centre Building A 3rd floor, Cnr. Sihanouk & Sothearos Blvd or PO Box 149, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phone: (855)-23-217-855  Fax: (855)-23-217-856
Email: Global site: