On November 29, Peyton Allen ’20 presented the findings of her year-long research into the impact of gender inequality on educational opportunities and access to healthcare for women in Cambodia as the conclusion to her Hallam Hurt Travel Award.
Allen spent a week traveling throughout Cambodia last summer, interviewing experts on women’s education and health, visiting schools and health clinics, and working with an NGO. All of this was in service of answering her essential question: How does gender inequality in Cambodia’s educational system impact Cambodian women’s access to healthcare?
Accompanied by Chatham Hall biology teacher, Kirsten Blaesing, Allen interviewed teachers at the Lakeside School in Phnom Penh, who explained the limitations placed on young girls as they grow up through the educational system in Cambodia. These girls typically receive less education than their male peers due to the societal pressures placed on women to care for the family and the home, as exemplified by the typical age for marriage hovering between 13 and 16 years old. Allen also had the chance to speak with groups, such as the Empowering Youth Cambodia foundation, which sends social workers into communities to help young women continue their education and find access to appropriate healthcare. Allen ended her presentation with her conclusion that lack of education and susceptibility to dropping out of school has vast effects on, not only the healthcare women receive in Cambodia but also on their general understanding of health and self-care. These attitudes leave women in Cambodia more likely to be the victims of domestic abuse and disease, and the only way to break this cycle is through education.
An all girls boarding and day school in Southern Virginia, Chatham Hall prepares girls for college and for productive lives. Our innovative academic program offers Advanced Placement courses, global study and travel, as well as project based learning. Our athletic teams regularly compete at the State level and our exceptional riding program is nationally recognized. We foster the intellect and character of each student and, through our Honor Code, live in a community of trust. Grounded in its Episcopal heritage, the school welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.