Women prepare to take the lead in Cambodia’s local elections

World News


Women prepare to take the lead in Cambodia’s local elections

SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA – In rural Cambodia, the women’s revolution is coming. It’s not happening with pink pussy hats, placards and chanting. Instead, it’s driven by quiet determination and a hunger to learn.

They are gathered on the second floor of a newly rented house in Siem Reap. As removal men heave filing cabinets and desks up the stairs, a group of 15 women, aged between 25 and 49 years old, sits on the floor, scribbling notes and taking turns to role-play an interview scenario as journalist and political candidate.

Run by Banteay Srei, a local NGO devoted to women’s leadership, these three-day workshops are helping prepare participants for the upcoming commune elections, Cambodia’s version of local polls. The women at today’s training session have all put themselves forward as candidates for the June vote, with the four main political parties represented. Here, they will get advice on how to distill their policies into a clear message and how to handle themselves with the media, through a series of practical exercises and gentle feedback.

Almost 80 percent of Cambodia’s population live in rural areas and are heavily disadvantaged in terms of education, women’s rights and work opportunities. So getting women to participate in local decision-making is critical, says Ponnary Pat, Banteay Srei’s executive director.

Click here to read the full article published by News Deeply on 21 April 2017. 

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