Challenges in Addressing Gender Inequality in Cambodia

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Challenges in Addressing Gender Inequality in Cambodia The attention of gender equality at all level and in all sectors of policy has become a global concern in the modern period. The recognition of gender equality has been internationally demonstrated by the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), followed by the Beijing Declaration on Platform of Action (BPfA), adopted in the Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW). The global framework has contextualized to address the problem of gender inequality with the emergence of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Fundamentally proven, the third principle of MDGs aims to address gender inequality in the global scale (Kasumi, 2011). Attached with that, Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has formulated Cambodian Millennium Development Goals (CMDGs) with the combination of other national instruments, civil society and private sector for the promotion of gender equality in Cambodia (JICA, 2007 & Kasumi, 2011). Many national institutions and mechanisms have been established under the umbrella of RGC. As a line ministry, Ministry of Women Affairs, established in 1996, is responsible particularly for the interests of Women. Low-level administrations under this ministry are also mandated to deal with gender discrimination (JICA, 2007 & GAD/C et al., 2009). With the inspiration from 1993 constitution and CEDAW, Ministry of Women Affairs has influenced major development plan including Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity, and Efficiency and National Strategic Development Plan. The fruitful outcome is Neary Rattank, a legal strategic plan, which serves as a main mechanism focused specifically on gender equality in the socie... ... middle of paper ... ...ncial resources, the expensive cost of education (Gorman, Pon & Sok, 1999 & Kasumi, 2011), and the demand of household labor force (Kasumi, 2011). In the sphere of society, moreover, traditional thinking of conservative people mentally influences the roles and responsibilities of women. Code of Women Behavior, for instance, along with the pre-dominance of social, traditional, and cultural norms and values of Cambodia’s identity is still structured in the society (Kasumi, 2011). While legal national policies and legislations are adopted by RGC, the implementation and enforcement mechanisms are not sufficiently powerful enough to support women and prevent them from gender-related violence. Extrajudicial punishment by employers and sexual abuse by male owners (GAD/C et al., 2009) are major concerns while perpetrators are rarely to be punished by the law (Kasumi, 2011).

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