Global Leadership Awards SEVEN
Mu Sochua was elected to Cambodia’s Parliament in 1998, her campaign inspired by the energy and momentum of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. She was the first woman to head the Ministry of Women's Affairs, a position she held for five years.
One of Sochua’s core issues was anti-trafficking efforts in Southeast Asia. She took politically difficult stances as minister, sometimes challenging colleagues when she felt they weren’t working hard enough to ensure justice for women.
She faced a crisis of conscience in 2004 when union leader and opposition party member Chea Vichea was murdered in what many believe was a political assassination. She stepped down from her position as Minister, citing corruption within the government. She joined the opposition party, where she has remained ever since.
Today, Sochua is still a Member of Parliament, and a watchdog for government transparency and accountability. She remains a fierce advocate for Cambodia’s most impoverished and disenfranchised citizens, walking the campaign trail from village to village, drawing international attention to their basic needs — safe shelter, security and opportunities for their children.