Nearly a hundred people including government officials, civil society organisations, private companies and disabled women gathered in Phnom Penh on Monday at the “Raising of the Voice of Disabled Women” forum to discuss the challenges faced by persons with disabilities.
The forum was organised by Agile Development Group in collaboration with Pact Cambodia, and with the financial support of USAID, to encourage disabled women to participate in information and communication technology (ICT) and entrepreneurship.
A joint statement by the organisations said the forum invited disabled young women to join the workshop that aims to educate them about the use of social media and entrepreneurship skills to help decision-making in their daily lives and businesses.
The forum also allowed for the sharing of personal experiences and challenges faced by women with disabilities to better address their concerns.
“Agile Development Group is a development and social enterprise that focuses on disability entrepreneurship. It works to create economic opportunities for persons with disabilities and allow them to live independently,” the statement said.
Agile Development Group director Ian Jones said that showing support and encouragement for disabled women who want to study or learn about ITC, entrepreneurship, and sound decision-making is important.
“Some disabled women in developing countries such as Cambodia do not receive much encouragement and support. We hope these skills would give them more freedom and independence,” Jones said.
Ministry of Women’s Affair under-secretary of state and head of the working group of disabled persons’ activities Nhem Morokat said at the forum that living with disability remains a challenge, especially for women.
She said without stakeholders, the problems faced by disabled women could not have been solved. So, she encouraged further participation from all parties, especially the local authorities to learn more about the concerns and challenges faced by disabled women.
“During the discussions, we obtained a positive result to work together to solve the problems of disabled persons in Cambodia. But we noticed that some organisations seem to do too little. So, we would like to request [the organisations] to participate more actively if possible.
“We invite the leadership at the ministries or provincial deputy governors to listen if they want to help persons with disabilities. We can’t do it alone . . . I can’t do it alone . . . so I need participation from all relevant partners,” she stressed.