Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Women’s issues need gov’t urgency: NGOs

Women’s issues need gov’t urgency: NGOs

Attendees at a presentation of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs’ annual report in Phnom Penh yesterday. Facebook
Attendees at a presentation of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs’ annual report in Phnom Penh yesterday. Facebook

Women’s issues need gov’t urgency: NGOs

Cambodia's Ministry of Women’s Affairs is stepping up its efforts to ensure victims of gender-based violence get justice, ministry officials said during a presentation of their annual report yesterday. But some activists counter that the ministry could do more.

During a meeting at the Peace Palace presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen, officials revealed that the ministry had provided legal aid to 87 victims of gender-based violence last year. Of those cases, 33 were cases of domestic violence, 53 of rape, and one of sexual harassment. The victim was underage in nearly half of the cases.

“With good cooperation from the police and the courts, the judiciary sped up cases of violence against women and girls, especially the cases of underage victims,” the report reads.

But Ros Sopheap, executive director of NGO Gender and Development for Cambodia, said more details are needed to determine whether the ministry’s work is effective.

“It looks like, at the policy level, the government is working hard, and I appreciate that they are offering services for women, because women need a lot of services, especially legal services,” Sopheap said. “But it’s hard to say how much effort is being put into dealing with the cases. We haven’t seen how many of these cases are a success, how many are a failure, how many are ongoing.”

What’s more, special efforts must be made to reach at-risk women, like sex workers and entertainment workers, Sopheap noted. For example, the ministry should provide the contact information of lawyers looking to work with victims of gender-based violence.

The report noted that Cambodian women are facing myriad challenges, such as discrimination upon entering the labour market and vulnerability to human trafficking. The possibility of being exploited by the commercial surrogacy industry was also mentioned.

In October, the government is required to submit its sixth report to the UN committee in charge of monitoring the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), to which Cambodia is a signatory.

“The last report was in 2013,” said Channeang Chim, of the NGO CEDAW, which monitors Cambodia’s compliance with the convention. “This year . . . they should focus on law and family, women in rural areas, women in politics; they need to focus on every sector.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the