PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) – The push for gender equality must start within families and parents should encourage their daughters to speak their minds, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeung Sackona said.
“If there is a threat to freedom of speech in the family, the women in the family will never have a chance to express their feelings and will always just follow the words of their brothers or husbands,” the minister explained at a conference on gender equality.
She also called for more opportunities for women to share ideas and find jobs.
“Women are the mothers, wives, sisters and daughters of men, and that is why men need to value women,” Ms. Sackona said at the conference on Wednesday.
She also urged the government to increase the number of women working in ministries, saying women can make them function more effectively.
Ek Bontha, a permanent member of the commission on gender at the ministry, said it was key for women to be placed in decision-making positions.
Chok Muny, director of the gender team at the Ministry of Civil Services, said both men and women needed to ensure gender equality is achieved.
“Gender balance cannot be achieved by only one side,” the official said.
Currently, 38 percent of women working in government are in the Culture Ministry. Mr. Muny said the government needs to prioritize hiring women at other ministries.