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Letter: Reddy's not right

Letter: Reddy's not right

Dear Editor,

I am gravely disappointed by the many inappropriate comments made by Ms. Reddy, including

her off-hand treatment of the issue associated with "high profile cases"

in "UN Human Rights Centre gets New Chief," Phnom Penh Post March 17-30,

2000. I would have expected that someone in her position would have taken the opportunity

to highlight the social dynamics of cases like these in a more profound way.

Poverty is related to unequal access and control of resources, which is often divided

along gender lines and classes. The feminisation of poverty which is a concern worldwide,

and especially of the UN body, is manifested in Cambodia, like in other parts of

the world, by the increase of the number of women taking up prostitution, high or

low class, as the main form of profession to sustain their livelihoods. Most of these

women are victims of the unequal distribution of power and resources in society and

represent "the poorest of the poor."

Ms. Reddy is quoted in the PPP as saying: "The others can find other ways of

obtaining justice." This position seems to undermine the position of the UN

as well as many other Cambodian groups who are working for a civil society in which

the rule of law protects the rights of everyone equally regardless of their gender,

ethnicity and class.

Boua Chanthou

Phnom Penh

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