This is what I can do being a mother
Mrs. Sun Phoeung aged 38 lives in Tatheav village commune, Chey commune, Kampong Thom province. She works at Chey commune office and is in charge of women’s affairs and children. Her husband is a member of the same commune council as her. They have four children, three daughters and one son in their dependence.
In 1997, they had a family problem. Her husband left her to live with another wife in the village nearby until he came back to live with her and their children again in 2001. However, he is still seeing his second wife.
Phoeung said that since she has become a member of the Women Political Activist Network in 2007, her knowledge has improved remarkably. When asked what has changed in her life, she said ‘it is a big change for my life’. She expressed that “during the conflict with my husband, without having knowledge of laws and women’s rights provided by the network, I would have committed suicide. I felt very hopeless once I knew that my husband had another woman leaving me and my children behind with very limited resources”. She added that after joining the women network her family situation has improved and her husband has stopped being jealous and using violence. He now supports her and allows her to freely participate in the projects organized by the network.
The Women Political Activist network was set up by the Committee to Promote Women in Politics in 2008 in 9 provinces in 15 districts. CPWP set up this network has objective to empower of Cambodian women at the grass root level to participate in decision making processes at the local level in order to stand for commune election and bring essentially needed social services to Cambodia’s most vulnerable members and strengthen their rights as well as Cambodia’s governance capabilities.
Apart from knowledge she has gained, Phoeung also received a monthly budget allowance from the project. With this small amount of money Phoeung supported her daughter to study in secondary school in Kampong Thom town. Phoeung now understands the importance of education for women: “before, I used to convince my older daughter to give up school, but from now on, I will never do that again. I will do the best to secure her study. This is what I can do being a mother”