Please allow me to make some comments in addition to my prepared text. Today we organize the celebration of March 8 – the international women’s day. My question is why we take only one day in 365 days to celebrate the international women’s day and not all 365. What I wanted to say is that we should try and implement what we have put out in action. Violence on and trafficking in women has become hot issues and is demanding serious implementation of law. HE Ing Kuntha Phavi – Minister of Women’s Affairs – has been doing a lot of works in relation to this matter. This is a point to which we have to exercise common strategy and effort. All ministries have been instructed to cooperate with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to institutionalize gender in their programs, e.g. agriculture, small and medium size industries, while incorporating in all political decision making.
Trafficking is a business that needs lots of money and power. In this relation I wish to express my sincere thanks to various institutions involved especially police in taking action and collecting proofs for taking cases to courts. The police have to assist the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. I think for gender equity and equality, access to education must be provided to girls at the primary, secondary and tertiary education. The Royal Government of Cambodia is carefully planning for this by decentralizing school buildings closer to people in the countryside. Only we move the school closer to home does access to education for women increase. On the basis of primary schools in local level, what remain to be done in this process is to increase the number of teachers and equip them to be secondary schools. I wish to declare to parents and superintendents to change their perceptions of giving more consideration on education for their boys than their girls. We should change attitudes along with that of structural adjustment.
Cambodia is a society of matriarchy as is shown in all prefixes used to stress the role and function of women – take for instance Me (woman as head of) Khum (commune), etc. Women normally are the one who decide on what amount of rice should be kept as seed, as food and for selling in exchange for clothing, etc. The largest percent of Cambodian households, women hold the family’s account. As is said by HE Minister for Women’s Affairs 73% of the Cambodian labor are women farmers and workers who have involved in activities for the sake of family livelihoods. Microfinance assistance should take this matter into consideration as loans to men could end up in drinks shop or concubine’s affairs.
We have to pay attention to incidents of rapes of under aged persons by elder people, fathers, step fathers, etc. When I was talking about “devil fox” lady, I mean to make our society a good one but some people have taken it personally. I am glad and grateful to see that HE Ing Kiet and Madame are here today in their role of good father, mother and good grand parents who have a daughter as Minister. If HE Ing Kiet were to have another wife or concubine, Minister Ing Kuntha Phavy could not be here to talk about this matter. We also should try and make our country free of tourist sex destination../