Women’s Affairs Minister Ing Kantha Phavi yesterday said that women are still facing social and economic challenges, although much has been done to empower them.
Speaking at the close of its two-day annual meeting, she said the ministry had identified some challenges facing women which related ministries and partners should jointly address.
Ms Kantha Phavi said these include access for woman and girls to entrepreneurship and technological training, which is still limited. She added that pornographic posts on social networks continue to affect the morality, honour and dignity of women and girls.
Ms Kantha Phavi noted that trafficking, exploitation of women and children, and gender-based violence also continue to exist.
She said social stereotyping and social attitudes towards women persist and are a major obstacle to their participation in modern society and the digital economy.
“These are the main challenges that women still face,” Ms Kantha Phavi said. “We will focus on these issues when formulating policies for 2019.”
She noted that according to the World Economic Forum’s report, Cambodia has improved its status in the field of gender equality, ranking 93 among149 countries last year compared to 112 out of 114 countries in 2016.
Women are also playing an increasing role in politics and 19 percent are members of the 6th Legislature of the National Assembly compared to 15 percent at the previous assembly.
Last year, 41 percent of civil servants were women, 24 percent of whom occupied high positions.
At commune level, the composition of women in commune top council positions increased from 5.9 percent in 2017 to 7.8 percent last year.
Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An, who attended yesterday’s event, said the situation for women in the Kingdom has improved.
She noted, however, that women’s participation in politics was still limited and violence against women and girls still continue.
“We appreciate that Prime Minister Hun Sen has created a special legal team to help poor women who are victims of violence,” Ms Sam An said. “It is especially bad for women and girls who are subjected to cruel treatment by close relatives.”
Last month, Prime Minister Hun Sen tasked the government’s Lawyers Council president to form a legal team under his direct supervision to provide free legal aid to poverty-stricken women in the Kingdom.
The team is known as “Samdech Hun Sen Legal Team” and will consist of 30 lawyers, the majority of whom are to be women.