Phnom Penh 10 June 2014 – With a large gender-based gap, a lot of works and focuses have done to address equality in Cambodia to meet the Millennium Development Goal 3 by 2015. Progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go to tackle gender equality issue that remains a concern in the Cambodian development context.
As an observer, in some specific areas of regulation of the law and setting up legal framework have been improved in ensuring justice and remedies are benefited to victim as women and girls, especially in regards to violence against women and trafficking of women and girl issues. Women’s economic and empowerment, one of the area that are making women significantly have a choice to be having a livelihood and eradicate from poverty working in a divers sectors of private sector; for example, domestic jobs, working in garment factory, private company and more increasing working public sector in the position of leadership and decision-making role as well.
However, the picture remains one of significant inequity with women and girls attaining much lower levels of education; minimal progress in reducing maternal mortality; persistently high levels of domestic violence and sexual exploitation; the under-representation of women in decision-making roles; and inadequate resources to address gender discrimination within institutions.
The Royal Government of Cambodia signed CEDAW on 17 October 1980 and ratified it on 15 October 1992 without reservations. OP Protocol is then signed in 2010 to set up complaint mechanism and reporting case. The combined Initial, Second and Third periodic reports by the RGC were examined by the CEDAW Committee in January 2006 and a set of Concluding Observations was issued.
The 4th and 5th combined periodic reports on the implementation of CEDAW in Cambodia have successfully defended to the CEDAW Committee in October 2013. Critical components of the Convention were included in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia in 1993. Article “31” of the constitution reiterates that “The Kingdom of Cambodia shall recognize and respect human rights as stipulated in the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human rights, the covenants and conventions related to human rights, women’s and children’s rights.”
Cambodia has made lot of progress of CEDAW implementation, number of national laws and policies which responded gender equality have been enacted and promulgated and implemented. As results, Domestic Violence Law enacted and regulated, 1st NAPVAW and gender equality policy (Neary Rattanak III) have been developed, and implemented. In a new mandate of the government 2014-2018, the better development and implementation of new policies and action plans are crucially needed for Cambodia to address the gender gaps and inequality in order to achieve MDG ‘s goal 3 and to address CEDAW Coinciding Observations in 2013. As result, several initiatives have been made towards development of 2nd National Action Plan to Prevent Violence against Women (2nd NAPVAW), new Neary Rattanak IV, new National Strategic Development Plan etc.). These key policies are expected to be adopted by government to implement. This will provide opportunity and framework for civil society organizations, development partners and UN agencies to contribute implementation, monitoring and tracking accountability of government.
The result of forum on good practice on CEDAW implementation will attribute to the revision of the progress and challenges faced by and will identify ways forward for accelerating implementation MDG and post-2015 development agenda.
Additionally, the forum will create a national dialogue and network to better understand and respond how to identify the needs and join advocacy action improve the CEDAW convention. This forum will also provide opportunity to share experiences and expertise; reviewing success and challenges of services; identifying challenges; reviewing the application of CEDAW this included 52 Concluding Observations to Cambodia in 2013.
Five key areas of women issue will be raised for discussion in this conference. These issues are women’s economic empowerment; Women and education; Women and health; Violence against women and women indecision making. We plan to bring the result of the discussion from the conference to reflect the challenge that women are facing and give as an input to Neary Rattanak IV which it is now under internal discussion of MoWA.