Promoting Gender Equality in Cambodia

By: Ms. Phal Sopheak

The completion of a three year project entitled, “The Men Engagement to Stop Violence Against Women” (MESVAW), was agreed upon in a memorandum of understanding between the University of Cambodia (UC) and the People Health Development Association (PHD). The first training activities for 2014 took place from August 25th-27th at the University of Cambodia. 20 students, 10 Female, 10 Male, attended the 3 day workshop which aimed to raise awareness on gender equality, gender violence and sex health. Workshops will provide concrete information about consultation, intervention and legal services at institutions which are our partners, and to build good relationships and confidence in the target youth group through education, group discussion, decision making, and real life practice experience. This training workshop was coordinated by Ms. Phai Soksan, Department of Health Studies Officer, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports; and Mr. Uch Vannin, Project Officer of PHD Association.

The training workshop covered a range of topics, from gender equality, to sex health and youth leadership and empowerment. A club entitled, “Youth Educate Youth,” was established to help create a network of youth who are passionate about gender and sex health related issues. The trainers encouraged us to be active participants in social development, and to consistently reinforce gender equality in our daily lives. On the last day of training, Mrs. Por Malis, Vice President of Operations at the University of Cambodia, and Mr. Ou Ratanak, Executive Director of PHD Association, gave presentations. Mrs. Malis provided recommendations regarding the increase of youth involvement on the fight against gender based violence through educational activities, and the dissemination of women’s rights information, in an effort to stop all kinds of violence against women.

I was chosen as the club president, and representative of the group, “Friends Help Friends”. We will facilitate upcoming events and activities to help raise gender awareness in schools and communities across Cambodia, in an effort to reduce gender based violence in our society. As the representative of the peer group, I would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to all the stakeholders involved, such as the organizing committee, teachers, distinguished guests and speakers, sponsors, and all of the partners that made this educational workshop available for us all. We are all committed to sharing, spreading, and using all of the knowledge and experience we have gained for the betterment of our community, and our country.