Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Celebration of the 107th Anniversary of 8-March International Women’s Day


In addition to the prepared text (available in Khmer), Samdech Techo made the following selected off-the-cuff comments:

On this point, I wish to elaborate that women’s day is not only on 8 March but on every 365 days in a year. However, we are making today a day when we gather together to commemorate and discuss involved contexts to further the movement. People should not think that women’s day and right exist only on one day.

I have said before, and I am saying it now that anyone who lacks the will to invest on women is not visionary. I have said it countless of time that if you are helping woman, you are helping yourself. If your wife is not knowledgeable, she will be a burden … and you are going to face with difficulties […] on the contrary, when your wife and/or daughter, or female relatives, are educated, they have ability and chances to help the families.

It is also true in national institutions. Should women have higher capacity, they would be able to help carry out works of those institutions. It is in this strong opinion that I continue to call on national and sub-national institutions to not only assign women to a position according to pre-determined policy of having at least a woman in each provincial council but also to give her a position that she would be involved in carrying out actual works and decision making […]

I hope that in the coming years, there will be more Secretary of State and Under-Secretary of State. That is my opinion as a candidate for the position of Prime Minister of the Cambodian People’s Party. I can say that because we now can appoint Secretary of State and Under-Secretary of State by Royal Decree (while before we had to do it through the National Assembly) […] in every institutional organization, I suggest that we look into this issue to raise a better status for women […]

Some said that women are not fit for making decisions. They said some have performed excellently in their functions and responsibility but are still weak in making decisions. I can speak from my experiences that for both men and women, they would not be able to make decisions, when you do not give them the chance to do so through their works. I had raised some questions regarding (appointing new governors) in place of governors going into retirement. Answers were this one is not resolute, that one dare not make decision, etc.

I said then have we appointed them in decision making positions yet? If we have not appointed them in those positions yet, we cannot say they lack decision making ability. It is in this thought that I suggest national and sub-national institutions further jobs and responsibilities closer to their appointments (at decision making level) and appoint more women to posts of head of department, deputy general director and general director.

We must therefore organize training and prepare functions and ranks accordingly. For instance, those with ranks of deputy governor or officer by statue of civil servants could be appointed to departmental positions. Since we are working with this as a guideline, involved institutions must come up with readjustment (of ranks of their potential candidates) with the Ministry of Public Functions to facilitate the flow of appointments […]

I am calling for special training for female officials of the Royal Government. We have made more progress on this but we must further it. I have noticed that these days while incomes have increased, women empower themselves in economy and finance. Women has what they call economic empowerment, which leads to political empowerment in family. In our country and culture, 999 out of 1,000 families, women hold key to family finance. Based on information gathered from my meetings with over 400,000 factories workers/employees, female workers not only hold key to income earned by their husbands but also their own salaries.

This has really empowered them. They do not depend on their partners’ incomes. They also have their own incomes. It is in this concept that strengthening women’s positions in economy is to empower them politically in family. This will also empower their decision makings. We must continue to work on this […]./.