On Wednesday 8th September, Mu Sochua's team participated in an all-day “Workshop on Achieving MDG3 [in Cambodia] by 2015″, organized by the Technical Coordination Secretariat, in collaboration with the Ministry of Woman's Affairs and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (co-funded by UNDP/Legislative Assistant Project, UNIFEM, UNMC and Action Aid).
In 2000, the United Nations recognized the central role of women in development in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which has the empowerment of women as one of its measurable goals (MDG3 – as “the proportion of seats held by women in national parliament).
As stated by the UN, Cambodia has made significant gains in changing attitudes towards women, as shown, for instance, by the rise in numbers of women in decision-making positions. However, there is still a lot to be done for women, and to achieve the MDG 3, especially in terms of domestic violence, which remains a very important issues in the daily life of Cambodian women.
The workshop organized yesterday was thus aimed at discussing the recent developments and the challenges remaining. Infront of a national and international audience of political figures, civil society staff, academics, and journalists, the speakers focused on 4 main set topics:
■Women's Political Participation
■Political Parties and Women's Participation
■International and Regional Experiences in Achieving MDG3
■Achieving MDG3 by 2015.
Speakers included national representatives (including Dr Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Women's Affairs and Mrs Thida Khus, Representing Committee to Promote Women in Politics, Executive Director of SILAKA), international academics (Prof. Drude Dahlerup, Political Science Dept, Stockholm University, Sweden), and international civil society members (Ms Wenny Kusuma, Country Director, UNIFEM) and politicians (Ms Nguyen Thi Kim Thuy, MP National Assembly Vietnam, member Committee on Social Affairs). All agreed on the positive evolution of the women's status in Cambodia but underlined many points which still need to be advanced, including in terms of domestic violence and psychological discrimination. As Mr Douglas Broderick, UN Resident Coordinator himself declared, “immediate and urgent action is required [...] we must double our efforts”.