The government yesterday expressed its commitment to reduce gender-based violence, eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and girls and provide effective reproductive health services in line with the action plan of the International Conference on Population and Development.
The commitment was made during the National Consultation on ICPD25: Cambodia’s Journey towards Nairobi and Beyond, which was held in Phnom Penh.
Women’s Affairs Minister Ing Kantha Phavi said that in the past 25 years, 179 countries, including Cambodia, have adopted the ICPD action plan which was formulated in Egypt in 1994.
The plan notes that human rights, reproduction health, gender equality and empowering women, girls and youth are the foundations of sustainable development.
Ms Kantha Phavi said the government has taken several steps to achieve ICPD objectives by establishing various mechanisms at national and sub-national levels.
These include establishing legal frameworks, especially through the national action plan to prevent violence against women and children.
“By being a signatory to the action plan, the Kingdom is committed to successfully implementing its objectives,” Ms Kantha Phavi added.
She said that in order to fully achieve the action plan’s objectives by 2030, the government requires further funding from development partners, other sources and national budget allocations for the health, education, gender equality and social affairs sectors.
Poch Bunnak, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Planning, said at the event that during the 25 years of implementing the ICPD action plan, the government has developed policies and strategies and implemented development projects aimed at reducing poverty, promoting health and reproductive health and providing more opportunities for women and youth to access education and social services.
However, he said the government has also faced some challenges related to the quality of health and education services, which require further efforts to overcome in order to continue implementing policies to meet the action plan’s objectives.
“A Cambodian government delegation will attend a summit in Nairobi, Kenya, in November to reaffirm the Kingdom’s commitment to addressing challenges to improve the status of women, girls and youth for them to have full rights and accurate choices about sexual health, family planning, effective contraception and better welfare,” Mr Bunnak noted.
Daniel Alemu, the representative of UNFPA in Cambodia, said at the event that empowering women and girls has been a key global and national priority and is essential for sustainable development and inclusive growth.
He said that in spite of the wealth of global evidence on women’s positive roles in contributing to development, they are still denied their basic rights and needs, from land ownership and financial inclusion to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
“Now more than ever, we cannot be complacent and take for granted gains made but rather collectively recommit to ensuring our journey of expanding rights and choices for all becomes finally a reality,” Mr Alemu noted. “It is indeed incumbent upon us all to deliver the unfulfilled promise and dream of ensuring that no woman and girl in Cambodia is left behind.”