Gender Culture and Violence Relation to Gender

By Kay Chandara

June 4, 2013: Participants from 10 universities, including two representatives from the University of Cambodia (Mr. Chan Ratha and Mr. Kay Chandara) participated in a seminar on “Gender, Culture and Violence Related to Gender,’ which was organised by People Health Development Association (PHD) in cooperation with Cooperation for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.

The purpose of the program was to enable university participants to fully understand the concept of gender and what is violence related to gender. With this knowledge and understanding, participants can become good members of society; and can share and transfer this knowledge to others.

Society does not give equal value to women’s work at home. As one Khmer proverb says: “A woman has a hundred hands.” It means a woman not only does all the household chores, but also performs many other duties outside of the house. Nevertheless, the man’s role, meant to work and generate income to support the family, is more valued.

However, as societies develop and progress, people become more educated and aware of gender violence. Thus we can prevent gender misconceptions and work toward gender equality in our society. Promoting gender equity is very important in order to better understand how to achieve this, we need to know what is gender and how it is defined.

Traditionally, gender has focused on the duties, behavior, and virtues which culture and society has set each sex by institutions such as family, community, school, government, pagoda, and media. Because of the traditional settings of different duties between men and women in society, this caused gender violence to occur in the society. For instance, women must stay at home to take care of the children and do household chores, while men are designated as the head of the family or household.

However, we should notice that gender roles are changeable through time and from one society to another. Help us end gender based discrimination in the home and office, so we can work towards a more equitable society.