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Hear My Voice

Hear My Voice
By Chan Seyha and San Sel
Topic: Woman’s Participation in Politics

Cue:
Historically, Khmer women played important role in various partsin living-way both culture and national leading. It can be proofed through the using of the word “Me” in Khmer or “Leader” in English such as Me Kruosaror householder, Me Phum or Chief Village, Me Doek Noam or Leader. Due to the chronic poverty, illiteracy, the long changing of the society and three decades civil war, people nearly forget the role of women particularly in leadership and politics.

San Sel reports:
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Atmo Sound (Poem): Khmerwomenstill suffer, Khmer women cannot get education, and lives in poverty without job and in the hardship. (28 seconds)
Track 1 (Lead):
Mrs. Kroch Sam An, Lawmaker of Cambodian People Party (CPP), has revealed her struggling life in politics inthe National Forum on “The Empoweringthe Number of Women to Participate in the Election in Municipal, Province, City, District, Khan Election 2014”. With the hand carrying microphone, Mrs. Kroch Sam An told about her struggling all the obstacle with the empty hands until is recognized in the society. Mrs. Kroch Sam An has involved in the politics since her husband passed away and left a one year old child for her. She said that she’s changed her attitude and behavior from a young woman who was not good at talking and shy to talk with high ranking officer to be a politician.
Clip1:“After 1979 in Khmer Rouge regime, I was an orphan, but I struggled until 1994 I had gotten married for 3 years 8 months and 22 days. My husband was killed in the regime, and I became a widow with a 1 year old child and right now he is 18 year old. The struggling through all the hardship with the empty hands until I can stand for the election for a lawmaker. From one mandate to other, I have selected as the lawmaker for three times since third mandate. This is my brief background of a woman who struggledand waspreviously a young woman who was not good at speaking, but we also learn, also do and also struggle.We have to speak and to do in a correct way to find the support from our surrounding people. If we are not active and supportive, we don’t have today.”
Track 2:

According to the official result of National Election Committee (NEC), there are 20.33 percent of women or equal to 23 seats in the parliamentary which has totally 123 seats.

In the last fourth mandate in 2008, there are 22 percent of women, so if we compare to this fifth mandate, the number of women in Parliamentary has decreased around 2 percent.

According to The Cambodian Center for Human Right (CCHR) said that the number of women is lower than the previous year. In this 2013 election, Cambodian People Party (CPP) has 16 percent of women and Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) has 10 percent of women.
Ministry of Women Affair’s website wrote that “the representation ofwomenintheexecutivegovernment isstilllow, speciallytheroleofmaking decisionbothinthenational, provincialanddistrictadministration. Meanwhile, thenumberofwomeninthelegislativeprovisionssuchasjudges, prosecutors,andlawyersalsoare limitedif wecomparetomen.”
Mrs. ThidaKhus, Executive Director of SILAKA Organization, said the number of woman in Commune and district has only 12 percent and it is equal to 92 communes and districts among the total number of 1633 communes and districts.
Clip 2:“This few numbers can effect seriously on the efficacy of practicing of consultancies in the committee to discuss on the women and children’s affair, those roles are to provide service to 52 percent of women throughout the country.”
Track 3:
“Woman can’t do anything because she can’t even look over anything around thestove”, this is the Khmer old age wordwhich always say to the woman, whenever they are discussing about social issue or politics. Some blocks or obstacles make the women isolate from the politics.
Atmo sound (Poem):Right now, Khmer women can receive an honor and the government is empowering women’s value. (15 seconds)
Track 4:
Cambodian government has determined to practice the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) by intending to increase 30 percent of women in politics and public service in 2015.
Mrs. Kroch Sam An, Cambodian People Party (CPP), advised that to boost up the women to be brave and to involve in politics is depended on the effort of women, themselves. She added that women should be brave to express their idea to the public.
Clip 4:“All the women have to remember a proverb said that “Rule is power, and appointment is the weapon”. Women have to behave softly and gently, not for flirting. But for letting other people learn and accept us by showing our gentleness, thoroughness, and ability to attract the support from the men.”

Track 5:

Answering to question in the forum on “how to increase the number of women in politics”, Ms. NeangSovantha, CNRP’s representative, suggested that women should do their best to build up knowledge, skills, and abilities to draw the attention and value from men and society. She said that if women have enough ability, they will be able to increase the number of women in politics.

Clip 5:“Our party has the women’s network to spread the achievement of local women because normally in the central committee every person has his or her own work, but we have to hear from the women’s network; moreover, it plays as an important institute to bring the information to the central committee to be heard about what the women are doing. I answer that we don’t need quantity, but we don’t need the quality. If there is the increasing number of women, but they can’t work. Having few is better.”

Track 6:

MsSokPanha, president of BanteaySrey organization, said understanding the law and other legislations make women be brave to challenge with men.

Clip 6:“To boost up women in politics, we need to build up their ability and knowledge. Education has to be based on real experience to reflect to real situation including some laws and policies of the government. It lets the women know about the willingness of the government to encourage women participating in politics and to know what is lacking in the society nowadays. In fact, for the 2014 election, it is really important for women and community as the whole; especially, female leader, authority, and government who have various roles to spread the law related to the involving of women in Municipal, Province, City, District, and Khan Election to let the women know what their roles are.”

Track 7:

Increasing the number of women in politics does not mean that growth of women parliamentary increased, but it is the way to increase the number of women in grassroots at municipal, province, city, and district level.
Mrs.SengChantho, commune chief from Kampong Thom province, said that NGOs plays an important role to empower women’s right and to encourage them to participate in politics.

Clip 7:“She saw that I am the only one woman in the community who always take care of women. Thus, I was invited to join the training session of SILIKA. It makes me become less shy and fear. Last time, I’m so scary to express my idea because I don’t have experience and my knowledge is limited. But after taking care and help to the women, it makes them love and supports me.”

Track 8:

She countinued that the government should have the examination to get the position as the leader.

Clip 8:“If we want the women to stand for election in the large number. we should ask the government to set up the examination for selecting the candidate for municipal governor position. Moreover, the women should summit a petition to government to ask for making a law for putting the number of women and men in the election. Women are not inability in the village or in the commune. Women are more brave and knowledgeable than before.”

Track 9:
Ministry of Women Affairs recommended that to encourage women in second mandate of Municipal, Province, City, District, and Khan Council Election is importantly to be focused on the increasing the women representative in these councils.
It should be informed that Cambodia will hold the second mandate of Municipal, Province, City, District, and Khan Election on May 18, 2014. This election is only for the member of Municipal, Province, City, District, and Khan who are allowed to drawballot and the ordinary people are not allowed.

I am San Sel, reporting from Phnom Pehn, Department of Media and Communication.

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