The Cambodian Women Parliamentarians Caucus (CWPC) has launched the “Girl2Leader Cambodia” campaign to share experience and knowledge with young women throughout the country, instilling in them ideas of responsibility, decision-making and women’s leadership in politics.
Lork Kheng – chairperson for the National Assembly’s (NA) Commission on Healthcare; Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation; Labour and Vocational Training; and Women’s Affairs – told The Post on January 11 that this campaign had been launched five times since last year: three times in Phnom Penh and once each in Kandal and Kratie provinces.
“The focus of our campaign is to communicate with girls studying in high school to pave the way for them in terms of instilling ideas and dreams for choosing jobs and careers in the future. We hope to facilitate their development into courageous, independent thinkers,” she said.
Kheng noted that previous iterations of the campaign had seen enthusiastic participation from young women, and the new campaign is slated to be introduced in all provinces.
She described the presence of women in positions of leadership in national institutions and the private sector as very important, particularly in politics where women can influence national policies and address challenges that pertain especially to women.
Joining the campaign are members of the CWPC and representatives from other organisations who shared personal experiences of their rise to positions of leadership. Eventually, they became members of the NA and the Senate and emerged as decision-makers in their respective institutions.
Cambodian Centre for Human Rights executive director Chak Sopheap lauded the campaign as an initiative which can positively contribute to gender equality by promoting widespread acceptance of women taking leadership roles in society.
“These efforts are a continuation of work done in the past by state institutions and civil society organisations. Going forward, we need policies and specific procedures to ensure real gender equity,” she said.
Cambodian Institute for Democracy president Pa Chanroeun supported the campaign because it seeks to provide knowledge, skills and real-life experiences for young women by participating in activities which introduce them to the workings of the economy, society and politics.
“This programme enables young Cambodian women to become leaders and will increase the number of women in the leadership of Cambodian society where currently there are not enough,” he said.