In addition to his prepared text, Samdech Hun Sen, at the celebration of the International Women’s Day, gave some of his adlib comments which are translated as followed:
… The issue for women to become leaders does not lie in having a quota as divided by so and so at all. It is the most important that women have to give themselves high values. In order to be accepted and elected by the people one has to prove one’s value, which is not easy being approved by others. The value includes competency, morality, virtue, etc.
… Secondly, women have to support women themselves as we have noted in the past that when we field women candidates for so and so positions, more often than not men got elected. Women did not vote in support of their women candidates. Thirdly, it is a feasible point. The village election prove that 1/3 of the village council are women. But there is a possibility where women candidates could be appointed to positions by declaration by the Ministers. They could have women candidates appointed to be Department or Bureau Directors but the Ministers do not do it.
… As for those to be appointed by sub-decree and decree, I noticed no women candidates have been proposed. How could I sign for women? I could not interfere in their duties and responsibilities. I in this very instance suggest that the Ministers should not overlook women in management positions under their leadership. I wish to see one of the 18 working groups which deals with issue of gender awareness works to get more women appointed in the Ministries and I wish to take this opportune moment to approve the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s decision to make four women Ambassadors of Cambodia. More of gender awareness needs to be done.
… In some country there is a women President or Prime Minister, but in her cabinet there mostly are men. Why is that so? Take for instance the Switzerland’s Cabinet — when the President visited Cambodia recently, those accompanied her are men. Take another example the Chancellor of Germany Angelina Merkel – there are not many women ministers in her Cabinet. So this matter is not an issue of women being in the leadership at all but the importance of having their jobs implemented.
… If the Ministries propose to me two candidates – a man and a woman – I would opt for woman but only if the woman is more competent. I could not support those women just for what they are but for their working ability. The Ministry of Women Affairs also failed to encourage female candidate for its auditory position, because the working condition is set at a high level in this position too. So I would suggest we go for public ad for the position./.