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Gender Violence Falls: Government

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
Women from a number of agencies and groups spoke at yesterday’s meeting. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Violence against female staff at entertainment venues in Cambodia has dropped as education among staff, patrons and owners has increased, according to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, although it warned that the success had not been repeated at karaoke parlors (KTV).
 
During a workshop on “Safe Workplaces, Safe Communities” in Phnom Penh yesterday, the ministry’s deputy director of legal protection, Sath Salim, told attendees that a three-year collaboration with international NGO CARE had seen large reductions of gender-based violence.
 
“If we talk about 10 years ago, [people] knew nothing. Now they understand a lot because we have advertisement materials at restaurants and we have laws. Please think that violence is not an individual case, but it relates to everybody,” she said.
 
She said that male customers, the main perpetrators of gender-based violence, were now more aware that such actions were wrong, while female staff had a better understanding of their legal rights.
 
However, she noted difficulties in improving conditions at KTVs, where the environment in the sector is more sordid and parlor owners less likely to cooperate with authorities.
 
General Phoung Sophy, representing the Interior Ministry, agreed that cases of violence had dropped following increased efforts by NGOs and authorities to report dangerous establishments, but he did not present any official figures to support his claims.
 
CARE’s head of programming Eab Pisal stressed that gender-based violence is a global issue and not unique to Cambodia, but she praised the efforts of civil society and relevant authorities in their efforts to improve the situation for women.

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