Dear UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet and members of the UN Women Executive Board,
I am so honored and privileged to be allowed to present the issue in my country. I am also grateful and excited for your new post as an Executive Director UN Women, I am sure you will give hope to all women around the world.
I am from Cambodia, a student and a volunteer of Soroptimist International Phnom Penh NGO. Women and girls are the main focus for me to empower and help from my heart. The main concern that we are worrying today in Cambodia is Sex Trafficking that is caused from the poverty and non-education.
There is a proverb in Cambodia that asserts that men are like gold, women like a fresh white piece of linen. Even if gold is put in the fire, it remains ever the same. A white piece of linen, as soon as it has one blemish, is no longer of any use to anyone. The idea that girls and women are disposable commodities still prevails in Cambodian society, aggravated by the disproportionate value placed on virginity. Even if a girl is drugged and raped, her value as a desirable wife becomes practically nil. The victim is held responsible; her sense of shame and of having caused dishonor to the family is great.
Often, prostitution takes a covert form - it takes place not only in multiple brothels in Cambodia and in neighboring Thailand but also in massage parlors, karaokes and other outlets. Moreover, more and more women and girls are in demand in sex and other industries in Cambodia and Thailand. In the migration from rural to urban areas and across the border to Thailand, violation of rights occurs.
This, combined with a level of education that remains inadequate, means that many girls and young women face the continual danger of being sold or duped into the sex industry or making choices where no alternatives are available. Moreover, poverty, illiteracy, family problems, and gender discrimination provide fertile breeding grounds for vulnerabilities resulting in trafficking, exploitation, rape and abuse. It is the reason that the world is encouraging and empowering all girls to get education to avoid of these issues; anyways, the education in Cambodia is still limited for those people in poor rural areas and some parts of the Cities. Most of poor families are uneducated or only finish primary school.
In this point, I would love to ask help from the UN Women to recover our poor Cambodian people’s lives by providing us more education system, especially for those who live in rural areas, and helping us end gender discrimination by educating them both women and men to know about the gender and give value to each person life.
Thank you so much for your time on our letters! Wish you all the best!
Kind Regards, Sarvina Kang Phnom Penh, Cambodia
As the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women officially begins its work this month, World Pulse is asking women worldwide: What is YOUR vision and recommendation for UN Women? We invite you to raise your voice by writing a letter to UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet outlining your recommendation for how this new UN agency can truly affect change on the ground to promote gender equality and uphold the rights and needs of women both on a local and global scale. Learn more: http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/programs/international-violence-agai...UN Women: Visions and Recommendations