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Women's Rights in Cambodia

Registered Date November 25, 2016 Read 652
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Viphea Reth, Scranton Scholar of Royal University in Cambodia


The world has dramatically changed and shifted toward an equal world. It was begun when only rich white men had the supreme power and now, ideally, women are equally value and respect. As a matter of fact, Cambodian women are also experienced drastic changes in their lives in term how they are being treated and respected in a positive. However, there are still many challenges women face about their individual rights.
 

As a Cambodia young educated woman, I can see important changes in Cambodian ways of looking at women’s right. I have to appreciate how women are now view at vital part of the society. Women have the right to vote, some equal payment jobs, position in the government, rights to be educated and many other rights that were not given to them in the past few decades. Nevertheless, there are still challenges that Cambodian society has to work on to further strengthen the women’s rights issues in Cambodia. One of the important issues is women’s right to education. There is high percentage of women going to primary school, but it rapidly decreases as the education level increases. They are being forced by their parents to quit schools and go to work in or out of the country or even to marry. Force and arranged marriage are still a hot topic in Cambodian rural areas. This eventually create further problem including domestic violence. When women are not well education, they are likely the victims of violence, both during their work and at home. One more thing is the lack of access to health care system in Cambodia for women. Statistically, both women in rural and the city are at risk during the labor. Over the past few years, many women died during child delivery due to the fact that there is not enough equipment in the hospital. I am looking forward to seeing those changes to improve this beautiful country.
 

Personally, I have experienced a time when my family limited my right to education. When I finished my high school, both of my parents and a few of my relatives discourage me to pursue my higher education in the capital city, Phnom Penh because they believed that women do not necessary need higher education to live. They all wanted me to find a job and stay close to home. They were very strict and did not even listen to explanation at first. I was very disappointed, but I still find ways to break this tradition thinking. I applied to a leadership dormitory called Harpswell Foundation, a dorm where not only a place to live and food are provided but also leadership education is provided. I was very excited and happy. I explained my scholarship position to my family and let them to study carefully about Harpswell Foundation. They decided to give me the chance after seeing the potential mission of Harpswell Foundation and my many requests. Looking back to that experience, I am very thankful to Harpswell Foundation. I have always looking for ways to pay for my own scholarship each school year like applying for Scranton scholarship, so that my family can see that education makes me independence. As a result, my family strongly believes in my life goals and me.

         
Promoting women’s rights might be very difficult in a patriarchy society, but that does not mean it is impossible. I think education is the crucial part of the campaign. Men and women should be given the same opportunity for education, so that there is the gender equality in all fields. Men should learn and of course, practice to give up their desire in term of power to women because they both are equally educated and can do the same thing. Women should claim for their rights to equality. They should deny works that they believe that are not justified for them, but rather fighting for what they want. The family should also be educated about the importance of women’s rights, so they do not stop their daughters from pursuing their dreams. Last but not least, the society has to start enforced the law on gender equality and women’s rights. Law should not set to limit the freedom of women, but rather open a new world for women to live in so women can practice their rights and live in a beautiful world. It all starts with a simple act of caring and fighting for women’s rights. This can trigger and change the perspective of the people on women’s rights.