Women in Cambodia are mostly vulnerable. They have so many challenges in their lives such as a lack of opportunity to access education and be involved in social development. Yet, they also have a lot of responsibilities.
Here are just some of the challenges and responsibilities she faces:
- Cambodian traditions
Cambodian tradition says that women are responsible for looking after the house, for cooking and for bringing up the children. Many families follow this tradition, so why bother study for the future when women just become a housewife to cook for her husband and look after her baby. In other words, the lessons from school will become useless. This is also why most families train their daughter to do housework such as cooking, cleaning, etc. and don’t send their daughters to school. This is still a big challenge for many girls in Cambodia.
- Access to help
It is challenging for women to share their stories and concerns to someone who they trust, allowing her some relief from her stress and to find better solutions. Cambodian tradition doesn’t allow women to have a voice for herself or in society.
- Credit for her work
Most people still have a strong belief that women are not as clever as men, but I think this is because she is not given the opportunity prove them wrong. Today, many women have a job outside of home but still her husband expects her to go for meal shopping, cooking, cleaning and childcare, etc.
- Domestic violence
Domestic Violence is still a big issue in Cambodia. My experiences working with clients have shown me that there are not many women who report or seek support. We can imagine that if she lives in this unsafe situation for a long period, then she will be deeply impacted by the experience. She will become unhealthy physically and emotionally, so as a result, she won’t be able to take care of herself, get involved in her community and, importantly, be able to take care of her children.
- Trafficking and prostitution
From my experiences working with women at Women’s Resource Center for the past 5 years, I have found that so many women and girls are illiterate. I believe this is because of their lack of opportunity to access education and because they cannot be involved in social development. Many people take advantage of her vulnerability as a result. If more people are aware that women are the important in the family, community and society then she will be able to stand up with confidence, to share her voice in the home and out of the home, and bring a lot of achievements to her life, family and society.
At Women’s Resource Center, we believe that providing education and a safe environment for women and girls are the greatest development for Cambodian society. Education and security gives her information and a voice to make real change.
Being the Managing Director of Women’s Resource Center is a great experience for me. At the beginning, I thought that this is a huge title but through practicing everyday, I have come to realize that I have achieved so much. I have provided a lot of support to the women that work with me, worked with volunteers from different countries, worked with donors, and implemented many projects that ensure we will be able to achieve our goals and objectives.
I am proud of my organization and my work. I am also proud to be a Cambodian woman making a better Cambodia.