A local NGO has said it would distribute 5,000 books designed to increase awareness of laws and services related to rights for women and children in a bid to improve gender equality and reduce domestic violence.
Chim Manavy, executive director of the Open Institute, said during a launch in Phnom Penh that the 210-page “Women Guide Book” would be especially useful for women in remote areas who may not be aware of available support services.
The book is set to be distributed to female community representatives nationwide and includes information and contact details for government and NGO services including legal aid, reproductive health and local officials.
The book, which is also aimed at informing local authorities, explains that domestic violence is illegal and that officials have a right and duty to intervene to protect victims.
Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Women Affairs, said domestic violence is in part caused by gender inequality and that the guide book will enable women to “be more empowered” to know and demand their rights.
She noted, however, that about 40 percent of Cambodian women are illiterate and that the impact of the book would rely in part on local authorities helping to disseminate the information.