Women were in blog of the Cambodian culture from ancient time to the present and have multi duties to response comparing to men, who have only few things to do basically on finding income for family and to be named “family leader”. Some of women spend almost their lives to support husband and children’s living and they sometimes also earn income to support the whole family with naming “women”. Totally, when something happen to family, they were blamed and violated from husband because of any some reasons she did. They are the responsible persons and also the wrongdoing person. Why? In one family society, we as children need to see the mutual understanding among parents, warm family, and the equity of responsibility of the family’s members. We do not just want to see one person work for the whole family. It’s injustice and means less to responder. Women like mother have no time to think much more about her beauty, passion for development herself, own future goal for repute herself into society, and doing whatever she favor to do the most. Sometimes, I ask myself why the men never understand about women’s heart. Maybe they do not put themselves into women’s heart. It makes feel that a woman, I need to challenge so much just only in family. Phone calling, I was answer to my mom’s call with hearing of crying voice. I asked what happen to you mom? “I was so tired and hurt to wait your dad to finish her doctor degree. I used to wait for him 7 years ago and now 5 year more. Even he has one more year to finish but sometimes I could not be patient anymore. We spend much than he earn, he spend almost the thing have less before. I feel that your dad is not loyalty with me. He might have someone else with him because he changes a lot now”. I start crying as I know that she is right about my dad. I do know something is happen irregular to her life now but I could not tell her the trust about that. I exactly know that she cannot accept the case of my father. So, what should I do? I can only tell what is contrast from my mind that “Oh come on mom, dad is ok, he’s just busy with his study. He will be back soon and we will have happy family”. How pity she is. After talked her, I was just curious what is my mom has been doing wrong? Kampong Cham, the province where far from the city, is the place where My mom lives with 2 grand daughters and adopted son. She is waiting to see my dad come back from the Phnom Penh, Cambodian Capital city, after he gets his doctor degree. She supported the family’s financial including father and brother’s school fees, stipends and perdium since I was born until I was in 14 years old. My mom has 10 years breaks from earning the income as my dad is the one who responsible for it. But about 5 years to now is the one who save money for husband and children. It’s not easy for her that always does anything for family but nothing for herself. For example, she dare not spend on repairing her teeth which cost 2 000$ but she openly and happy to give such big money to pay for my dad’s stipend as he took 100$ per week. In 57 years old, she has no much more time for her entire life to do sometimes she wish to do for personal, to join social activities, to involve in politics, and to do sometimes that bring benefit to society. These huge responsibilities make her mind narrow down. Her duties are to make the family live in harmony, family together (no divorce), to be a good facilitator among family member, and good saver to make family survive longer by spend less for her needs. But what my mom serve back from family is hiring her difficulties in head because do not know where she can find the solution, living separately from her children, and get blaming mostly by my dad and my brother sometimes. The obligations that limited the women’s works from being out of the box by social pressure, old thought, and value not equally to men and women, women will not have time to dream about building her capacity, put herself into the country’s decision making, part of the country developer. I, her daughter and the new generation, would like to promote my right as women to enjoy in social work, turn my voice up, express my words to claim for equality and gender, show the world about my decision, and reduce the social discrimination. I want to share a responsibility to my future husband to let him know how many difficulties that woman face for face. It’s not only the work to save the money, but also to please and look after all family members. I need to achiever my dream a potential political leader so I need time, and everything to reach me there. Article 8 of the Human Right on Women states that The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The statistic of women in politics, 2011, is in the National Assembly, women hold only 27 out of 123 seats or 21%; whereas in the senate, women hold 8 out of 61 seats or 13.1% of the total .That’s mean that women has small among of position if compare to the men. It still need to be more empower and comprise more to have sustainable number among male and female in the country’s decision makers. However, the environment, surround the women, is really important to power and encourage the women including me to move forward. In Cambodia, during a leading by Khmer Rouge regime and the ensuing disruption of civil war extended into the 1990s, there left a lots poor and illiterate people. Lack of education greatly inhibits women’s understanding of their rights to equality and protection under the law. This can make them vulnerable to repeated cycles of domestic violence and abuse. Base on LICADHO report of Women Situation in 2004, it is estimated that 50% of rural women are illiterate and have not completed primary school education. It can also make it very hard for rural women to break out of the poverty cycle by finding off-farm employment in non-exploitative trades. Another serious problem that affects rural women is ill health and disability. This severely impairs rural women’s capacity to work and support their families. When women are household, most of them are farmer, among 90% of Cambodian population. So, the economic growth is also effected them especially to the rural women whose life base on the agriculture products. So their income would be caused. Women will start thinking about travel from the homeland to the town to seek for job to support the family. The immigration faces so many troubles for women’s health, security and lives. On the other hand, one of the good reasons for believing that this is true is the fact that most of the people affected by the worst climatic disasters that have happened over the past few years are poor and in their vast majority women. For example, in 2011 voter registration in Cambodia, women were more likely to protect the family and children from flooded in earlier Sept to Oct 2011 which is the period for Cambodian citizens to check and register to vote in coming up Commune Council Election in 2012. Base on informal report of COMFREL, only %of female voters went to check and register on this period. All in all, women should be power and inspire to what equal right among family. The women themselves also try to build up the capacity to find a place to express voices and concern over the violation against women. Women have to be strong in all circumstances in order to fight for fairness. We do love the family but it is not mean that only women have to get full tasks on this. Women are very good in patience and critical analysis. So, it is good to have women in some various positions in government section and country’s decision making. Women will promote and protect women from social discrimination.
This article is part of a writing assignment for Voices of Our Future a program of World Pulse that provides rigorous new media and citizen journalism training for grassroots women leaders. World Pulse lifts and unites the voices of women from some of the most unheard regions of the world.Voices of Our Future 2012: Frontline Journals