Last Friday’s International Women’s Day – and the daily fight for women empowerment – was not just about freedom from gender biases in politics, workplaces, schools, sports, entertainment and other places and sectors. Fighting for women’s rights is also about securing equal opportunities for people of all genders and abilities – or disabilities, at that.
On March 6, Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation (CDPO) held a workshop on “Asean Master Plan 2025 on the Promotion and Commemoration of the 108th Anniversary of the International Women’s Day” that go beyond empowering women’s rights, but also encouraging a safe, free and comfortable workplaces for disabled women.
During the workshop, undersecretary of state of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Nhem Morokat, said that disabled people should be given job opportunities as much as other people as they also have their own set of abilities and skills.
“Both private and public sectors should get disabled people to work within their skills or abilities instead of discriminating them. Disabled people can do so many things to earn income for themselves and their families, and to help the economy,” said H.E Morokat.
She added that women need to be open to various kinds of work as they can use their employment to be empowered and not be dependent on their husbands or on men. Having their own work will make them feel more secure about themselves and their future.
Primarily organised by CDPO and the Voice of Persons with Disabilities Radio, the workshop aimed at boosting disabled women’s confidence in themselves and in their abilities in changing their lives for the better.
Executive director of CDPO, Ngin Saorath, said that disabled women nowadays can learn about information technology or leadership, and apply these skills into possible work opportunities.
“Some can become singers if they have talent in singing. Some can become tailors and can even run their own tailoring businesses. I also encourage banks to reduce loan fees and interests so women who want to start their own businesses will be encouraged to do so,” said Mr Saorath.
CDPO, established in 1994 as a movement of Cambodian persons with disabilities, represents persons with disabilities in the Kingdom and works towards strengthening its members to be frontrunners of economic and social advancement.
The workshop last week was held to not just hear the voices of these disabled women, but to push them further to discover their great potential and flairs.