The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) on March 10 announced the formal launch of its Gender Mainstreaming in Mine Action Plan (GMAP) 2021-2025. The organisation will integrate gender mainstreaming into its future plans of action and will use it as a key indicator when evaluating its activities.
CMAA first vice-president Ly Thuch led a workshop detailing the mine action plan, with the participation of CMAA leaders and de-miners, as well as representatives of relevant ministries and institutions.
“This workshop aimed to announce the formal launch of GMAP to our operators and stakeholders and encourage all parties to implement gender mainstreaming in the mine action sector, using GMAP as a baseline document for action planning and indicators,” he said.
He added that the government was committed to strengthening gender equality and the role of women at all levels. Women were the backbone of the Kingdom’s socio-economic development, he said, adding that this was why mainstreaming gender was a key strategic national policy.
Thuch said the CMAA had played a significant role in coordinating the mine action sector in Cambodia and had worked closely with many partiers to develop the GMAP. Many of the updates were made to ensure that the focus would be on the needs and concerns of women, children and those with disabilities.
He thanked all of the ministries, institutions, development partners, national and international mine operators and all stakeholders who had cooperated on or contributed to the project. He singled out the UN Development Programme (UNDP) for special praise for its technical and financial support.
The five-year GMAP would be used as a roadmap by the operators and stakeholders of CMAA to help the process of gender mainstreaming in the planning, operation and evaluation of all mine action programmes.
The CMAA added that the GMAP 2021-2025 had set three strategies. The first was to implement gender mainstreaming into the mine action sector. The second strategy involved training and developing the skills of all staff at all levels, so the guidelines could be implemented effectively.
The final strategy was to urge the equal participation of women in mine action services, whether supporting survivors or mine and ordnance danger education.
Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana said CMAC now has more than 300 women deminers, accounting for more than 16 per cent of their total demining forces.
“Our unit continues to work hard to promote gender equality in our organisation. We are thankful for the peace and we are thankful to the women of Cambodia for their contribution to the demining sector. Thank you to the brave women of CMAC and all other de-mining operations in the Kingdom,” he said.
Ratana noted that a female deminer named Kuon Sophal had recently suffered serious injuries to one of her hands while travelling to clear landmines in the area around the Preah Vihear Temple. Sophal had told him that she was proud to have earned a gold medal for her mine clearance work from Hun Manet, deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of the Royal Cambodian Army.