Honorable Mu Sochua
Honorable Mu Sochua
Member of Parliament, Human Rights Advocate, Cambodia

San Francisco State

B.A. Psychology (1979)
  • Parliamentarian, opposition leader and advocate for the Cambodian people, Honorable Mu Sochua’s 25 year fight for the empowerment of women and against gender-based violence began in the San Francisco Bay Area working with Cambodian refugees.
  • In 1972, just after completing high school, Sochua left her native Cambodia, a country that for years had been racked by war and genocide. She moved first to Paris and then joined her brother here in San Francisco. She learned English, she said, by listening to the Beatles.
  • After 18 years in exile, Sochua returned to her native Cambodia to help her government rebuild after the Khmer Rouge. She has served as advisor on women's affairs, was elected to the national assembly and was minister of women's and veterans' affair
  • Within 10 years Sochua would open Cambodia’s first NGO devoted to women’s rights, become an advisor to the government, and eventually win a seat in the national assembly. Soon thereafter her political ascent culminated with her appointment as minister of Women’s and Veteran’s Affairs, one of only two women in the cabinet.
  • As a minister, Sochua campaigned against child abuse, marital rape, violence against women, human trafficking, and the exploitation of female workers. She also helped draft the country’s law against domestic violence and negotiated an international agreement with Thailand to curtail human trafficking in Southeast Asia. Sochua served as a minister for six years before finally stepping down in response to the rampant corruption that pervades Cambodian politics.
  • Sochua has received many awards for her human rights work including a 2005 Vital Voices Global Leadership Award, 2010 People’s Choice Human Rights Award, the 2009 Eleanor Roosevelt Award for leadership in Human Rights and was nominated for the Nobel peace prize in 2005 for her efforts to stop the sex trafficking trade. ​

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