Two NGOs have urged the media to obey the government’s code of conduct for reporting on violence against women.
Action on Disability and Development International and the Cambodia Women’s Crisis Centre made the call at a conference on promoting women’s dignity in Phnom Penh.
ADD International country director Sri Van Thol told attendees that the media plays a vital role in shaping social values.
He said reports on disabled women or child victims of violence can help encourage society to protect them.
“Women and children who suffer from violence are often ignored by society. They need the media to promote their rights,” he said.
Hou Samith, secretary of state at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, said the government is working hard to support disabled women.
“Women are a priority now, especially disabled women,” she said. “We are encouraging them to work in the state and private sector.”
Seing Vanchan, 35, became disabled after a violent attack by a male family member when she was 11-years-old. The perpetrator set her legs on fire and she has been confined to a wheelchair since.
“Before, I wanted to die due to my disability. I could not walk but my mother encouraged me to live. I suffered a lot of discrimination from society but I have fought to live and work,” she said.
The Ministry of Information and Ministry of Women’s Affairs in July issued a joint code of conduct for media outlets reporting on violence against woman.
It sets out 15 guidelines, including that the media should not report detailed information or pictures of violent acts related to violence against women or rape.
Reporting should also not show video footage of victims and perpetrators of violence, or information that gives readers a better understanding of the identity of the victims or perpetrators.
In case it is necessary to display the image of the victim, pictures should be blurred to avoid identifying them.