THE National Assembly ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of the Discrimination against Women on Tuesday with 94 parliamentarians supporting the UN treaty and only two lawmakers abstaining.
The protocol sets up legal mechanisms giving women who feel they have been discriminated against and exhausted all local solutions the ability to file a complaint to a UN committee where their case will be reviewed.
"This agreement can help women complain about their community or about a powerful man to the court," said Ing Kantha Phavi at the Minister of Women's Affairs. "And if the Cambodian courts cannot provide justice, a woman can file an international complaint [to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women]."
Critical for development
Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Son Chhay told the Post that protecting women's right was critical to the further development of the Cambodian economy.
"Women are the backbone of the nation. Without women, there can be no development," he said.
Son Chhay said he hoped the treaty would push the government towards better protection for women's rights.
"Women have the same capacity as men, but right now women have only received a small number of the important roles. Many women are still victimised by their community and by powerful men," he said.