Cambodia - A joyous wedding preparation – celebrating a new chapter in a young wife’s as she steps into the unknown with anxious excitement. Stuck in abusive structures – the pain and suffering is hidden behind feminine beauty and a smile. But once the line is crossed too many times, the pain can be ignored no longer. Taking a stand – finding strength and courage, united as one, to have a voice and say ‘no more violence’.
The huge majority of Tuktuk drivers work on the streets in Phnom Penh nowadays are male. T here are only few women transporting passengers as this is commonly regarded as men’s work. Along the street near Toul Tom Pong market there is a Tuktuk lady who stands by most of the time.
The repression of NGOs and other civil society groups increases worldwide, which leads to a decline of democratic freedom. This issue should be added to the agenda of national parliaments and multilateral organizations.
Thida Khus is the Executive Director of SILAKA, a Cambodian NGO that has been working since 1997 to increase the participation of women in Cambodia. Thida will be speaking at the Heinrich Böll Foundation about the situation of women in Southeast Asia.
Ms. Ung Yok Khoan is founder and director of Amara, Cambodian Women's Network for Development, which was originally thought as a women’s network to prepare a report for the Fourth World Conference on Women presented by the UN in Beijing, September 1995.
Hoy Sochivanny – President of Positive Change for Cambodia (PCC)
Ms. Hoy Sochivanny, president of Positive Change for Cambodia, participated in the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in September 1995 together with 85 other Cambodian women from civil society and 35 members of the Cambodian government.
Chak Sopheap is the executive director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR), one of the leading human rights organizations working for the promotion and protection of political and civil rights.
Reaksmey works with women to raise awareness of women’s legal and human rights, engage women in leadership and political participation, and provide access to different forms of justice for victims of state based violence against women inflicted as part of illegal land grabbing and forced evictions.
As Managing Director of Women's Resource Center (WRC) in Siem Reap, Pisey identifies the main concern for women and girls to be a lack of education and information about their rights and equality between women and men.
Bimala Jnawali – President of AATWIN, Chairperson of CWISH
Ms. Bimala Jnawali has been working for policy change on a local, national and international level for years. She is the president of the Alliance Against Trafficking in Women and Children in Nepal (AATWIN), a pioneer network that campaigns to end human trafficking problems.
Kasumi Nakagawa – Faculty Member at the Pannasastra University
Ms. Kasumi Nakagawa has been a faculty member at the Pannasastra University of Cambodia since 2002, in charge of gender studies at the foundation course and is a key figure in the development of the Cambodian National Action Plan to prevent Violence against Women (NAPVAW).
Alexandra Amling – EVAW Program Officer at The Asia Foundation
Alex has been supporting The Asian Foundation in research on violence against women (VAW) since 2014. Grounded in her passion for conflict analysis and peacebuilding, Alex has been researching and writing on women in armed conflict and post-war settings.
Erin Bourgois – Program Advisor at The Asia Foundation Cambodia
Committed to the protection and advancement of women's rights, Erin started working on violence against women prevention programs internationally in 2007 - specifically in the areas of forced migration and acid violence.
Kate Sheill – International Advocacy Officer at GAATW
Kate works for the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW), an international network of independent organizations formed in 1994 by a group of women’s rights activists from Asia, Europe and Latin America.
Rachana Bunn – VXW Awardee, Natural Resource and Land Management Program Officer with ActionAid Cambodia
Rachana is a human rights lawyer and land rights activist. Rachana strongly believes in the freedom of expression and the power of social media to bring positive change in the lives of the most vulnerable people in Cambodia.
On the 16th of February the Heinrich Böll Foundation Cambodia hosted a roundtable workshop on Beijing +20 at the Metahouse in Phnom Penh. 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, which took place in September 1995. 17,000 participants and 30,000 activists attending a parallel forum streamed into Beijing to further the empowerment of women and promote gender equality. After two weeks of intense debate, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action had been drafted, a milestone in the promotion of women’s rights. Until this day, the Declaration is one of the most quoted human rights documents concerning women.
Operating since 2010, the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is a drop-in center for women, which offers counselling support, informal-educational workshops on different topics like woman’s health, parenting, legal aid and the finance course “riel change”. The organization consists of 5 people of which 4 are Khmer.
Founded on the 14th of July 1994 by a group of women working in NGO’s and the social service of the government, AMARA originally was thought as a women network to prepare a report for the 4th world conference of women presented by the UN in 1995. Afterwards the movement of women was officialised and since then intends to provide capacity building training to women and educate female councilors.
Women´s political role in Cambodia is hampered by gender based discrimination, but woman have much to say about local political issues. This video explores the political problems faced by women in Cambodia, indigenous or Khmer, their visions about change and strategies that can allow them to gain a better share in governance.
With the adoption of a new Land Law in 2001, the Royal Government of Cambodia initiated a comprehensive land reform process. By giving voice to these women, The Heinrich Böll Foundation hopes to contribute to improvements in the recognition and registration of women´s land rights in Cambodia.
The cambodian artist Buth Chan Anochea in a Radio Feature about her paintings on the exhibition “Hey sister, where are you going?” where ten female artists present their masterpieces, which express women in society.
The radio program "Women's Voices, Women's Choices" will be broadcasted in Khmer Language every two weeks on Sunday from 11am to 12am on FM 93.5. It addresses various topics such as education, living standard, small business, women’s rights, environment, security and others from the viewpoint of women in Cambodia. Please click the play button on the audio taskbar for listening to the broadcast from November 7, 2010.
"Hey Sister, Where are you going?!" is an art exhibition sponsered and organized by Heinrich Böll Foundation in Cambodia. Starting on the 22nd October, there will be displayed works from 11 Cambodian female artists in the Sovanna Mall in Phnom Penh.
‘Srey bangvil chankran min chum’, according to this old Khmer expression women are seen as being too weak to involve in work beyond the household. However, as this case study conducted by the LEARNING INSTITUTE shows women contribute significantly to the total inland fish production in Cambodia. They not only involve in small-scale fishing but take on other income-generating activities such as gathering of aquatic plants and animals, fish culture, fish processing, fish marketing, fish trading, and making of fishing gear.
Mrs. Sun Phoeung aged 38 works as commune councilor in Chey commune in Kampong Thom province. She is in charge of women’s affairs and children. Becoming a member of the Women Political Activist Network has changed her life. “Without having knowledge of women’s rights I might have committed suicide” confesses Phoeung, looking back at a very difficult time in her life.
Cambodia - Pioneering work When asked by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Cambodian women from very different spheres of life evaluated the fundamental problems of women in their country as being a lack of access to education and thus high illiteracy rates, economic dependency, domestic violence, and hierarchical gender relations founded on traditional role stereotypes.
Parliamentarians, representatives of the Ministries of Interior and Women’s Affairs, researchers and staff of local and international organizations and indigenous women from four provinces were among the participants, when the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the German Technical Cooperation supported the Launch of the Action Research on “Promoting Political Participation of Indigenous Women in Cambodia” organized by the Committee to Promote Women in Politics.
Despite considerable progress in the past decade, Cambodian women’s participation in political institutions as well as non-formal bodies of political representation remains limited. In response, the Cambodia Gender Democracy program of the Heinrich Böll Foundation is formulated around two main objectives: Contribute to the gender discourse at the national level, in order to shape a genuine national gender democracy perspective. This involves linking gender with environment, as women are the primary actors in agriculture and play a key role in the management of natural resources. Enhance rural women’s participation in politics through the development of grassroots forms of representation, and increase their capacity to push their own agenda for emancipation and the development of their communities. International gender concepts and terminology are not always compatible within the local context, requiring pioneering work to foster a dialogue between various societal groups and stakeholders. The Cambodia Country office uses alternative media such as film and radio in addition to usual dialogue methods to expand the debate, provoke new perspectives, and integrate new, young activists.