Cambodian gov't urged to tackle discrimination of women

NGOs say violence against women happens often, discrimination present in all sectors of industry

Cambodian gov't urged to tackle discrimination of women

World Bulletin / News Desk

In Cambodia, women account for the majority of the approximately 500,000 garment workers in an industry worth nearly $6 billion to the economy. Thousands more travel abroad as domestic workers or work in Cambodia’s booming construction industry.

But the government is failing them and others with regard to legal protections, union rights and in their defense of land and human rights, NGO members of the Cambodian NGO Committee on CEDAW said in a statement released Wednesday to coincide with International Women’s Day.

Despite Cambodia having ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1992, the groups monitoring its implementation said they “have observed that the discrimination against women is continuing in political participation and land rights”.

“Violence against women in the form of domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment happens often. Discrimination happens in all sectors of industry, affecting female garment factory, entertainment, informal economy, migrant and domestic workers both inside and outside the country,” the groups said.

The statement listed a number of issues on which the organizations want the government to take action.

These included a call for the release of human rights activists who have been wrongfully imprisoned for exercising their rights to free speech and assembly, and ensuring that women are represented equally in the upcoming commune and national elections.

The government has also been urged to look closer at laws on unions, domestic violence and trafficking; to ensure that all workers can have a minimum wage, that women have full and proper access to justice in the court system and they are not penalized for being victims of sexual exploitation.

Last month, prominent land rights activist Tep Vanny was jailed for more than two years for her role in a 2013 protest.

Dozens of women from her community, Boeung Kak, have also spent time behind bars for exercising their rights to assemble.

Women’s Minister Ing Khantha Phavi could not be reached.

Last Mod: 08 Mart 2017, 16:01
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