By Soy Sophea
25 November to 10 December 2007 annually some countries in the world hold a campaign in general that is named “16 days campaign against women violence”. The 16 days campaign against women violence is the international campaign that originated from World Women Institute in 1991. Participants have chosen Nov 25 for the international day against women violence while 10 December is the Human Rights Day which is the symbol to cement prevention against women violence and human rights to stress that any violence is an abuse of human rights. Until now there are 2,000 organization in 154 countries have participated in the 16 days campaign since the establishment in 19911.
Koh Santepheap newspaper volume 40 issue 6199 published Thursday 22 November 2007 published an article that Cambodia women committee which is called (CAMBO) reported during the 16 days campaign that entitled “Cambodia law against beer women discrimination”.
The same newspapers reported the report is aimed to show important points for women about Cambodia law that related to women violence such as domestic violence, rape, human trafficking and wedding that currently has its content against the treaty against and eliminate women discrimination that is CEDAW. The report of Cambodia women committee which is an alliance 34 NGOs that is working mainly to promote women, has aimed to reveal the truth of Cambodian women who faced discrimination with their daily lives. This 16 days campaign is focusing on the general problems of discrimination against Cambodian women that involving women violence.
In particular, an NGO is called Gender and Development for Cambodia has a program to distribute white ribbon about 20,000 ribbons in seven provinces such Prey Veng, Pursat, Kompong Chnang, Battambang, Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey and Phnom Penh Municipality. Besides marching on the public streets during the campaign there was also a cyclo march in Phnom Penh on December 2, including educational leaflets distribution, equipments and posters. They also played a spot and performed educational drama which is broadcast on radio “men make changes for men”. A local NGO which has a program against domestic violence also marched against women and children violence in Kompong Thom province. Gender and Development for Cambodia Organization President Ros Sopheap said to accept white ribbons meant stop using violence and discrimination, sexual exploitation and women and children trafficking.
During the occasion, local non-profit NGO Open Institute’s program on women in Cambodia joined to disseminate information about the 16 days campaign which is put on the website http://women.open.org.kh to eliminate discrimination against women including many photos. This women program has a vision toward a society that has participants and women activists to cause changes in social development through receiving and using information technology to increase work capability and knowledge and experience sharing for women.
Women program has its mission to disseminate information and to coordinate discussion about women knowledge through a strategy of communication technology and information. This program also provides means for communication and trainings in order to support the NGO’s efforts and the women network for the organization and women network to be able to other women through communication technology and information.
Moreover, we have observed the campaign also has been paid attention by United Nations officers in charge of human rights. According to UN’s Human Rights High Commissioner Louise Arbour’s remark stated that every day all side of the world women and children are being killed, tortured, raped and trafficked for sex slaves or torture. Her remark was made during a statement 25 November before the elimination against women campaign which is quoted by AFP2.
She regarded the culture of impunity is a foundation of discrimination and inequality. She added there should be no report about a woman is raped if other people cause stigma against the victim than the perpetrator.
The foundation of this treaty about discrimination against women that signatory countries should not use the budget reason not to implement their duties to prevent and eliminate the discrimination against women3. Also they must take measures in order to achieve the work.
Women program of the Open Institute would like to encourage to the royal government of Cambodia and other relevant ministries to implement the treaty against women discrimination and other laws of Cambodia for advantage of promoting Khmer women as well as the Cambodia society that values women “mother is a leader” what a Cambodian wants is to see the result of this proverb mother is a leader to become obvious and equity.//