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Cambodian women empowered at UN conference

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The Cambodian team who won the first runner-up spot in the presentation compeition. Photograph supplied

Nine Cambodian students joined hundreds of young women at a United Nations conference aimed at connecting and empowering a new generation of female leaders.

They were among a total of 500 young women from Asia and Africa who were invited to the conference, which was organised by United Nations Women, a United Nations entity, and Duksung Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea.

Members of the Cambodian delegation flown to Seoul took second place in a competition for their lecture on the role of women in striving for world peace.

The UN-backed conference, titled Sharing Together: A Sustainable Global Gender Partnership for Gender Equality and Young Women’s Empowerment, ran from August 10 to 15.

The women, undergraduates or graduates from Asia and Africa, took part in lectures on partnership at various levels, such as international organisations (including UN Women), governments and non-government organisations.

They were also taken on cultural field trips, including a visit to the demilitarised zone between the two Koreas.

Sin Monin, one of the Cambodian women invited, said the competition had taught her a lot about the power of teamwork.

“I learned more about what is the essence of working in a group and being a team player, due to the competitive element, which granted us the opportunity to work together on an international stage," she said.

The women were invited to enter a competition to give a presentation on a topic and judged on their creativity and understanding. Three Cambodian students were part of the team that were judged the first runners-up.

Yong Hwan Lee, the organiser of the conference and a researcher at the Chamirisa Institution, at Duksung Women’s University, said: “Basically, we aim to build a global network among young women from Asia and Africa, to help them to develop their career and identity.

“We create mutual understanding despite the differences in background, culture and race. We find a new way of co-operation and try to foster global partnership on a global level.”

But for Lee, the conference was just the first step in a wider ambition to connect more students in Asia and Africa in the global job network.

“The next programs will be training and volunteer and internship service programs, which will provide opportunities to students in Asia and Africa, including Korean students, to volunteer around the world and do internships with international organisations and NGOs,” she said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lim Meng Y and Chanvetey Vann at ppp.lifestyle@gmail.com

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