Editorial: Cambodia’s Peace is the Key Factor in Promoting Gender Equality

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Phnom Penh, March 05, 2020 –“Having peace in place allows gender equality to develop,” H.E. Kiti Nite Koasal Bandit; Standing Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin, Minister in Charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers, told a meeting, attended mainly by women, on Mar. 4, 2020, marking the celebration of the 109th International Women’s Day.

Cambodia has always put “peace” above all, given the reality that, without peace, developmental achievements are impossible to implement.

Cambodia places great value and respect for the roles and responsibilities of women, particularly since the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women which was held in Beijing, China, and based on the theme of “Action for Equality, Development and Peace”.

Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin drew attention to the importance of the Beijing Declaration at the Fourth Conference on Women which covered 12 critical areas including the promotion of women in the social, political, education, health, legal protection, environment, and decision-making fields.

“The Beijing declaration has assisted to empower women and girls who are an important driving force in society acknowledging that women can play a key role in contributing to peace, stability and development, as well as strengthening the positive image of women as active and contributing members of the Cambodian and international communities”, he said.

In this respect, the Royal Government of Cambodia has always acknowledged that peace, stability, prosperity and human resources are key elements in assisting development in all fields. Long-term peace encouraged the government to implement its rectangle strategy, phase 4, for economic growth, which focuses on employment, equality and efficiency, along with adhering to the system of multi-party democracy and human rights, all of which has allowed the nation to achieve a 7 percent growth rate per annum over the last 20 years.

The government has also sought ways to ensure that these positive developments benefit women by establishing the national social protection policy framework 2016 -2025 which was approved by the government in 2017. “This framework is a great roadmap for social protection reforms that will benefit women in the areas of social welfare, equality and solidarity in Cambodian society,” Deputy PM Bin Chhin told the meeting attended by many hundreds of women who listened attentively to his words.

In practice, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen has instructed and encouraged government institutions to provide greater employment opportunities for women in the public sector resulting in an increase from 20 per cent to 50 per cent in the number of female civil servants.

A good example is the percentage of female civil servants working at the Office of the Council of Ministers (OCM) which has now reached 25 percent.

The government will continue to empower the role of women in Cambodian society, said Deputy PM Bin Chhin, adding that “the OCM is paying great attention to female candidates who apply to take exams to gain employment at the OCM.”

“A collective effort is required to ensure the ongoing development of empowering the role of women in the social, economic, and political decision-making mechanisms of Cambodia.”

“I ask all departments of the OCM to join hands so we can lead the way for gender equality (LWGE), programme implementation in line with the 2017- 2020 objectives,” he said.