The Ministry of Women’s Affairs will produce specific tools to monitor behavioural changes and offer support for people with disabilities, without gender or sex discrimination, after completing training on advocacy skills on gender and disability with officials from nine provinces.

On December 5-7, the ministry held a training course in Kampot province on advocacy skills related to gender and disability to increase the awareness of 42 officials from the ministry and from relevant departments in the nine provinces.

The Chhunhak, director-general of Gender Equality and Economic Development, told The Post on December 11 that this is the third and final course of the year.

He said that all three trainings this year were attended by nearly 150 trainees from provincial departments of women’s affairs; education, youth and sports; social affairs, veterans and youth rehabilitation; and information from the capital and 24 provinces.

He said the training focused on raising awareness among provincial departments about the differences between women and men with disabilities, improving their skills, reducing all forms of discrimination against women and girls with disabilities, dealing with cases of gender-based violence and access to education, skills development and outreach.

“We do not have a definitive study on the outcome of the changes after the programme. But the main focus of our programme is to provide the departments with the skills and capacity to enable them to disseminate or incorporate it into their work and to seek support from authorities and communities on gender and sex discrimination against people with disabilities,” he said.

According to the director-general, in 2023 the women’s affairs ministry will focus on the production of specific tools to monitor the variability of attitudes, working methods and support for people with disabilities without gender and sex discrimination.

“Because they have disabilities, they miss opportunities and are not sent to schools, especially girls with disabilities. We also need to inform the community, authorities and guardians about the growing vulnerability of girls with disabilities over their safety in cases of violence and other abuse,” he said.

In early 2022, the women’s affairs ministry selected five provinces to train more than 500 prosecutors through an online course, including raising awareness of vulnerabilities and protection measures for women and girls with disabilities from gender-based violence.

Em Thavy, director of the Pailin provincial women’s affairs department who attended the training in the past, said the training was important for her institution to support gender equality for people with disabilities. She said this course will provide more knowledge about disability issues and contribute to promoting gender equality among people with disabilities.

“Now our people are more aware, so discrimination against people with disabilities is lessened because of this. In Pailin, we do not have discrimination or hate against our disabled people. We have followed the government’s policy by making sure that our officials better understand disability and gender issues,” she said.