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Why exclude girls from developing Cambodia?

Dear Editor,

I am very disappointed to see Sun Chandeb's suggestion on the continued practice of the tradition of Chol Mlop.

Not all Cambodian traditions are rationally good. According to the article, Mr Sun said, "I really want Khmer people to carry on the tradition of Chol Mlop".

Does he really want to see Cambodian girls practising Chol Mlop? Does he really want to see girls staying at home and learning how do housework and being ready to be housewives?

Chol Mlop is not a good practice. Why do only girls need to practice Chol Mlop? Why not boys? Why do only girls need to know how to do the housework? What about boys?

To help our country be efficient and effective in utilising its human resources, and in being fair to girls, Chol Mlop should not be carried on.

Girls are not born to be housewives and do housework. Some girls are born with unique talents that they can use to serve our country better.

Some can become great future medical doctors, lawyers, police, soldiers, engineers, scientists or politicians.

If we keep practising Chol Mlop, it means we are blocking girls' desires and dreams to be who they really are and what they want to be.

If we keep practising the Chol Mlop, it means that our country would lose many potential human resources.

We should be aware that not all boys are born to like non-domestic work neither. Some boys or men like cooking and doing housework, too.

But they cannot express their desire to do it, because they are afraid they would be laughed at or looked down on by society.

Because in their mentality, as well as our society's, there is the view that housework is girls' or women's work, not boys' or men's. Why do we have this mindset? Because we had practised Chol Mlop.

Some groups in our society now try to promote gender equity. Why does Mr Sun want to foster the practice of inequity like Chol Mlop?

Mr Sun, tradition is founded by people. Therefore, people still have a power to change or upgrade it if they believe it does not work well or fairly.

We should not blindly believe and do something due to the idea that it is created by our ancestors, so we should respect and follow our ancestors.

Tep Sophea

Phnom Penh

Send letters to: newsroom@phnompenhpost.com or PO Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length.

The views expressed above are solely the author's and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.

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