The ministries of Women’s Affairs and Information, the Club of Cambodian Journalists and the NGO ActionAid Cambodia organised a workshop for reporters and media students under the theme “Raising Awareness of the Implementation of the Media Code for Reporting Violence Against Women”.

The workshop took place at the women’s affairs ministry on November 27 and supported by the French embassy in Cambodia.

The goal, according to organisers, is to make participants understand the root causes of violence on women and how to provide services to victims.

The purpose is to educate participants about ethical values when reporting violence.

“This workshop wants to encourage participants to stick to the media code of conduct in reporting about violence on women,” a joint press release said.

ActionAid Cambodia noted that some cases of violence against women that were reported on social media departed from the code of conduct. That includes photos and comment that affect the dignity of victims.

Women’s affairs ministry undersecretary of state Bun Puthy said Cambodia acknowledged that more need be done to promote gender equality and combat violence against women and girls.

“The news plays a very important role in preventing violence on women, especially providing news that helps victims who suffer from injustice to not become victims again. It should encourage society to support victims without discrimination,” she said.

Laurent Triponey, first counsellor at the French embassy, said the training is meant to improve gender equality between men and women, a priority of the French police and government.

The Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR), the UN and other organisations have also been involved in campaigns to stop violence against women.

A CCHR press release said the campaigns marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which fell on November 25 and runs through Human Rights Day on December 10.

The UN in Cambodia wrote on its Facebook page that almost one in five girls in Cambodia is married before the age of 18, with most cases in Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri provinces where ethnic minority populations are concentrated.

“In 16 days campaigns in stopping violence on women, we necessarily need to join hand to stop marriage of children and ensure that women and girls in the Kingdom can get their full potential,” it noted.

Separately, the NGO African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) also announced a global “Clean Clothes Campaign” (CCC) to raise awareness and stop violence and harassment on women in the workplace, especially in the textile industry.

A network of 250 organisations across the world has joined the campaign.

In a press release on November 26, the FEMNET said cases of gender-based violence and harassment have increased tremendously, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Women are particularly at risk, especially in informal and low-wage sectors in the industry.

“The Clean Clothes Campaign has published a position paper that proves the urgency of taking action against violence at work by looking at the example of garment factories.

“FEMNET and CCC call on companies and politicians to implement appropriate measures to mitigate violence at work,” the press release said.