Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen,​​ at the Celebration of 108th May-8 Women’s International Day [Unofficial Translation]

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CNV:

In addition to the prepared text, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen made extempore comments with excerpts on four major issues regarding women:

To Register Non-Registered Sector Female Workers

[…] firstly, we must focus on social protection policy for women in pregnancy. We must strictly implement this policy. We must make sure women in public institutions, the armed forces, and workers will bet benefits and repose defined by the state […] for companies or enterprises that have not yet registered workers must proceed to do so to ensure that workers will benefit from social protection policy such as free-of-charge medical checkup and treatment, especially benefits from the Royal Government’s policy vis-à-vis women with pregnancy.

I am urge the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training to work with the Ministries of Women’s Affairs and Economy and Finance to study possibilities of getting statistics of female workers in companies/enterprises and who have not yet registered. Take for instance in a construction company, there must be female workers working there and it is possible that the company has not yet registered them with the national social security fund (NSSF). In that case, both male and female workers would lose their benefits. To expedite the process of getting them registered, can we think of way to register them at their workplaces such as factories, enterprises, farms, etc. and to provide them with some kind of cards to ensure that they would get the benefits when they needed […]

Continue to Expand Women’s Access to Public Functions

Secondly, as is said in the prepared text, I continue to call on efforts to increase rate of participation and appointment of female civil servants to public functions […] I have supported provision of public functions to sub-level institutions. I have done it at national level such as appointing female civil servants to the posts of Secretary and Under Secretary of State. I wish to see that we are doing the same at provincial level. We have done it at district level. However, I am not sure yet if we have more women in leadership positions at General Departments or Deputy General Directors post. If we have not got that many yet, I am urging involved ministries/institutions to consider providing more women with such positions.

Give Women Functions and Works to Do

I think our women these days are quite capable of doing their jobs. There should be at least two female deputy general directors for every four or five general director positions (in any given institution). There should be at least one deputy department head if it is not yet possible to find a woman to fill the department head position. I would urge once again to give women appointments and also to give them works to do. We must not appoint them to the positions only to illustrate gender percentage in any given institution. While in fact they did not have chance to fulfil their tasks or participate in making any decisions at all […] to further expand women’s appointment and participation in leadership positions, the Ministry of Public Functions must issue a visa for Ministers concerned to appoint women to positions from Deputy Department Head and lower as from Department Head and higher it will be within my power […]

Minister Should Meet Frequently with Female Staff

We should not speak on this matter just to please everyone. We must take actions. I think every minister should take at least two or three times a year to meet with their female staff/employees […] I have taken my time to meet regularly with the National Council for Women […] ministers must listen to their requests and take actions to respond to appropriate ones to improve working condition for women in each and every institution/ministry […]

More Female Students to Go to Post Graduate Education

Thirdly, I am calling on efforts to ensure that there are more female students to continue their education to post graduate level. We have seen the above figures illustrating more female students passed their secondary school level than male students. In general, number of female students are higher than male in primary and junior secondary school. At senior high school, their numbers are more or less proportional. In term of passing the secondary school exam, female students are better than male at 52% […] the female students figure though grow smaller than male when it comes to tertiary education and post graduate level of education […]

Economic Performance Empowers Women’s Political Stance

However, I am happy to see that number of female entrepreneurs is growing. It stands at 65%. It is a great achievement of the Cambodian women […] women have been empowered through their economic performances […] there may be some female workers present here too today. I told female workers in factories that they may continue to choose the best men for themselves […] in older days, women depend on men. As of present, a large number of women do not depend entirely on men anymore. (Female workers) for instance they earn between 182 USD (as their basic salary) and 200 USD and higher. (With these incomes) why would you marry men drugged and alcoholic? This has clearly indicated that one women are in better economic position, they also reap political empowerment.

More Understanding for Domestic Helpers

Fourthly, I am calling on our people to reserve understanding and care for female workers working as domestic helpers. We must do this together. Women with sufficient resources may speak well about women and gender but we must also see that there are female workers working as domestic helpers […] that they have gone abroad in search of domestic help jobs is one issue but we must also pay attention to those working as domestic helpers in the country. They work hard. They rarely have good time and enjoy holidays. They cook us food, do our laundry, clean our houses, etc. There is no Sunday or holidays for them […] for everyone who have been able to hire domestic helpers to help with the house works, I am calling you to reserve them understanding and care […] if they are still young, if you can make it, please give them chance to have some vocational training […]

Techo Sen Lawyers to Assist Poor Women and Convicts

Fifthly, […] HE Ky Tech, a lawyer of the Royal Government and my family will serve as head of the (Techo Sen) lawyers group. We have now everyone and everything we needed […] we have a group of over sixty lawyers and we may expand further when it is necessary […] we have two target groups of women to pay attention to. We must look into female convicts who should have their sentence either reduced or absolved. They are the first target group. We do not need to wait until national holiday to do so. Based on real situation, we may request for pardon using law about prison that allows Prime Minister to request for royal pardon […] target 2, we will assist female convicts who have not been tried for being unable to afford a lawyer. We must make use of every potential we can get – a part from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, financial assistance from the Royal Government, and now we have a new group of lawyers to take this matter forwards […] I met workers the other day and I specifically mentioned it to female workers that if they happen to be in legal problem, they may seek help from my lawyers. We must take actions together to achieve further progress for our country in the new phase […]./.