Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Civil groups call for clear policies on women’s rights

Civil groups call for clear policies on women’s rights

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Some 400 women from various associations, unions and civil society organisations gathered at Olympic Stadium to celebrate the International Women’s Day on March 8. Supplied

Civil groups call for clear policies on women’s rights

Some 400 youth and women from 12 civil society organisations gathered at a hotel in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district on Sunday to celebrate women’s rights, weeks after they were prevented by security forces from marching to mark International Women’s Day.

At Sunday’s gathering, the group recounted the struggles faced by Cambodian women from all walks of life, including discrimination, sexual abuse and the disregard of women’s rights in society.

Representatives from NGOs Silaka, Gender and Development for Cambodia (GADC), Women’s Network for Unity (WNU), Worker’s Information Center (WIC), Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK) and the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) demanded an end to the abuses of individual rights in the form of violence.

WNU director Pech Polet told The Post on Sunday that the event provided participants a chance to share personal experiences and highlighted the plight of women from all backgrounds, including rights and land activists, sex workers, garment workers, the disabled and members of the LGBT community.

Polet said women and children continued to face physical, mental, economic and gender violence due to old-fashioned mindsets and social norms.

These, she said, posed obstacles to the development of the rights of women and their ability to make decisions for themselves.

‘Discrimination continues’

Sunday’s event aimed to engage people, especially those in government, in addressing gender issues and demanding greater respect for the rights of women and an end to all forms of violence against them.

“So far we have not seen enough positive change, while discrimination [against women] in all sectors continues to exist. So we convey a message to the public and the government, and shed light on the problems encountered by women, problems that need to be resolved immediately,” she said.

Srey Tim, one of the women who attended the event, said she had encountered a lot of problems working in the entertainment sector.

At the karaoke parlour where she currently works, she said she had faced insults, discrimination and sexual abuse.

Tim appealed for an end to discrimination against women, in all its forms.

“Working at a karaoke parlour is not bad, but [women there] are subject to insults, disdain and sexual harassment, leading to needless pain and suffering,” she said.

While calling on people and the government to join them in the fight against abuse, violence and discrimination in all forms, the participants vowed to work in solidarity towards the changing of societal attitudes.

To that end, they said, the government needed to formulate clear policies aimed at equality and better living conditions for all women.

Ouk Vuthy, another participant, shared the women’s concerns. He urged the government to address the issue through clear policies and the public to prevent discrimination through a change of mindset.

“For now, I can only express my support. I want the government to see the hardships women face and formulate policies to help them. From what I’ve noticed, the government seems to be inactive in helping women get good jobs and live with dignity,” he said.

Ministry of Women’s Affairs spokesperson Man Chenda could not be reached for comment on Monday.

But Minister of Women’s Affairs Ing Kantha Phavi acknowledged last week that violence and abuse against women persists.

She said the ministry is working to address the issue and would soon make its strategies public.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Angkor Beer, 30 Years of Prestige and Still Counting

    Let’s celebrate 30 years of prestige with Angkor Beer. In this 2022, Angkor Beer is 30 years old and has been staying with Cambodian hearts in all circumstances. Head of core beer portfolio, EmYuthousaid, “We have been with Cambodians for three decades now. We, ANGKOR Beer, pride