A 16-day campaign to battle violence against women and girls comes to a close today.
The Ministry of Women’s Affairs and UNFAP held the campaign against gender-based violence under the theme “Think together, act together to end violence against women and girls”.
At a campaign event yesterday at the Royal University of Law and Economics, Hou Samith, a secretary of state at the ministry, said the 16-day campaign aimed to promote awareness to stop violence against women and girls.
Ms Samith said that the ministry ran the campaign within local communities, at schools and in public to battle violence against women and girls.
“The ministry is preparing a national plan for 2019-2023 to end violence against women and girls. So we all together started to end violence against them,” she said.
Daniel Alemu, UNFPA representative in Cambodia, said that globally, one in three women have experienced violence at some point in their lives.
He said that this is the case in Cambodia, where one in five men surveyed admitted to having raped a woman.
He said that despite increasing support for gender equality, 27 percent of men and 50 percent of women believe that a husband is justified if beating his wife for a specific reason.
He added that half of the women in Cambodia who suffer from domestic violence never talk to anyone about it and most of them do not dare report the matter to police because of fear or embarrassment.
“There are several cases and forms of violence against women and girls that never see the light and get reported,” Mr Alemu said. “A big number of victims chose to remain silent, their voices unheard, their stories untold, and their suffering uninterrupted.”
He added everyone must stand up together, speak out and take action together against rape and all forms of violence against women and girls.
“Victims and survivors need short, medium and long-term support to heal, reintegrate into their communities, and rebuild their lives through clinical management of rape and physical trauma to addressing mental health issues and social stigma,” he said.
Peou Saroeun, vice rector of the Royal University of Law and Economics, said that the campaign helped his students be aware of the violence.
“Khmer society values women. Women have a main role both in family and society. I very much appreciate the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and UNFPA for holding the 16-day campaign at my school and giving students a chance to stop violence against women and girls,” he said.