Selected Impromptu Speech at the Graduation and Diploma Presenting Ceremony of the Western University [Unofficial Translation]
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
- It is my great pleasure to take part in this “Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Commitment to Action”.Twenty years have passed since we came together in Beijing for the “Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995” and adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Since then, the Beijing Platform for Action has become an important tool to promote gender equality in both social and economic aspects.
- Under this framework, Cambodia has actively joined UN member states to implement policies, strategies and action plans aimed to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. As a result, Cambodia has achieved remarkable progress in major areas as follows:
- Adopting laws and regulatory frameworks to protect, eliminate discrimination and reduce violence against women and girls;
- Promoting gender equality in education through increasing enrollment rate of girls in both primary and secondary levels;
- Promoting women’s involvement in economy and enhancing their access to financial services so as to strengthen their financial autonomy;
- Improving the health status of women and children, particularly through achieving the MDG targets on maternal mortality; and
- Promoting the engagement of women in political affairs and decision-making at all national institutions and levels, including legislative and executive branches and other institutions in both national and sub-national levels.
- The Year 2015 is historical, marking an accelerated progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. This meeting will indeed serve as an important platform for us to further tighten our efforts and resolves to achieve gender equality and make this target become a reality for all women and girls across the world. To this end, I believe that we should give priority to the following works:
- Increasing investment in gender equality, especially by reviewing fiscal policies to generate and increase public spending on gender equality including monitoring and analyzing the impacts of such public spending on gender inequality through gender-responsive budgeting;
- Ensuring the protection of women’s rights, as well as full and equal participation of women in decision making at all levels,
- Strengthening accountability mechanisms for gender equality by strengthening government institutions with effective means of monitoring progress and ensuring sufficient provision of resources for gender works, and
- Continuing to promote women’s involvement in the economy and their financial inclusion, especially through: raising awareness about important services in business development for micro, small and medium women-owned enterprises; developing programs that help women acquire technical skills and entrepreneurship, and access to financial services, providing support to women in diversifying and commercializing their farming; and collaborating with stakeholders in the labor market to eliminate discrimination against women in work place, introducing labor standards for women, providing social protection and arbitration, etc.