A s part of the celebrations a ceremony was held to formally
accept policewomen into the Royal Government's force.
But even though the
press was invited to the function at the Secretariat of Women's Affairs, only a
few officers wore uniform, apparently because the cash-strapped government was
unable to pay for the kit.
Prior to the ceremony the policewomen had
still formally belonged to the old political groupings, some had been on the
force since 1979.
The 150 women officers from Phnom Penh attended the
ceremony and it is estimated that they now constitute two percent of the
nation's police force.
"People in Cambodia take us as seriously as they
do men," says Director of Police Un Sokunthea. There are now 716 policewomen in
Phnom Penh alone, who, according to Sokunthea, "do all the work that men do."
Most of the policewomen have been trained in Phnom Penh. Depending on
the kind of work they will do, their training could last from 3 months to 3
Since 1979, a similar felicitation ceremony has been held on
Women's day every year sponsored by the Women's Association. This year, they
were honored by the Venerable Maha Ghosananda and Secretary of State for Women's
Affairs Keat Sukun.