Khmer ancestors left a model of rules on the different ways men and women should behave in society. The four laws of women were sleeping, speaking, sitting and walking. For example, women were to sleep sitting up, they were meant to speak in a quiet voice, they had to sit in good posture and walk in a gentle way. Also, women had to dress in a specific way. Their skirt should cover the knees and the fabric should not make noise as they walked.  They were expected to respect their husbands and brothers without bias.


The role of women has changed in modern times, but the woman still is expected to take care of the home, the finances and maybe even get a job outside of the house, but the man only needs to work at his job. In spite of having equal status in many ways, sometimes the old rules still apply. For example,modern women are not allowed to have male friends.

In modern society, some things have evolved for women, while some of the ancient expectations remain the same.