Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Females in government make more provincial trips, according to Comfrel’s Gender Watch report



Females in government make more provincial trips, according to Comfrel’s Gender Watch report

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Comfrel members speak on the monitoring report on women yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

Females in government make more provincial trips, according to Comfrel’s Gender Watch report

Despite Cambodia having only a handful of female lawmakers, they are more likely to visit local communities than their male counterparts, with opposition female lawmakers in particular far outstripping men, according to Comfrel’s Gender Watch report released yesterday.

The election watchdog’s statistics showed that of 24 female lawmakers, more than 83 percent (20) made provincial trips in 2016, compared to around 78 percent of their 99 male counterparts. Women from both parties each made an average of roughly 14 trips per year, while men averaged 13.

The three female lawmakers from the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, however, were far and away the most prolific travellers, statistically speaking, averaging 40 trips apiece to the provinces in a year. They also trounced the men in their own party, who averaged only 18 trips apiece.

For female politicians and gender advocates, the figures reinforced a truth they knew only too well – women in power must work harder than men in the same roles.

“I’m not surprised. We are graded much more strictly, graded not only as to performance, [but] they demand higher education from women,” said opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua. “Before we can get an opportunity we have to fight for that opportunity, and then we have to perform extremely well, and if we don’t then we don’t get another chance.”

She said women often paid closer attention to social issues that demanded provincial ventures, such as health care and education.

But this could be a double-edged sword, in which female lawmakers get shoehorned into “soft issues” stereotypically associated with women and are denied decision-making power.

Keo Chanmoney, a Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker in Kampong Chhnang, said visiting local communities was vital to public life.

“We need to go to meet the community people as much as we can to let them know they are not living alone and we care about them,” she said.

“I don’t care how often the CNRP lawmaker women go or what they are doing, but I really encourage our women to go as much as they can,” Chanmoney added.

Comfrel’s education and gender coordinator, Sonket Sereyleak, said the group “wants to see them prioritise intervention cases rather than the gift-giving and inaugurations, because it could help the villagers’ problems”.

Overall, lawmakers made 1,665 provincial visits last year, up from 1,107 visits in 2015.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma