Hello and welcome back to Anakut Podcast!
We are now on the first episode of the third season! Can you believe we already have two seasons under our belt?
To open up our third season, hosts Thina, Voleak and Andrew sit down to discuss women in politics and the policy space of Cambodia. Along with two special guests, they dig into the ways women do (and don’t!) have a voice in how Cambodia is run.
While recent elections have seen the percentage of women in government increase to twenty-four percent and the creation of a Ministry of Women’s Affairs, there are still serious issues pertaining to women’s participation in government and the efficacy of laws intended to change Cambodian women’s lives for the better. To help tackle these questions, our hosts invited two women to share their experiences and reflections on women’s issues, the current state of women in politics, and their hopes for the future. We spoke with You Sotheary, the Founder of Next Women Generation, a platform that shares inspiring stories of female leaders, and Oung Chanthol, the founder of Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center and executive director of Women’s Media Centre of Cambodia, an NGO with a specific focus on the rights and role of women in Cambodian society.
The episode begins with a discussion on how women’s roles in politics have changed, and how women often become involved in politics as a direct response to the issues they face in their lives. We follow the ways women in politics have affected public discourse on issues like domestic violence, an issue that went from having almost no one talking about it to seeing laws put in place to prevent its occurrence. Further on, we dissect the usefulness of these laws and how solely their existence isn’t a panacea. From societal views on women’s issues, to vague legal language and traditional cultural attitudes, we also explore how various factors can constrict the effectiveness of these laws, leaving them either practically useless or simply misused.
Issues of education, safety, familial and societal expectations, gender roles, and violence against women will not be solved overnight.
Getting even deeper into the conversation, we cover ground from barriers to women’s participation in the political process, to promoting substantive equality and pushing beyond gender roles for greater female participation in politics and policy formation. It’s not a simple thing to break down the barriers to political participation for Cambodian women, issues of education, safety, familial and societal expectations, gender roles, and violence against women will not be solved overnight. But we discuss ways we might be able to take them on in the present.
Have you ever wondered why more women in Cambodia are not involved in politics? Or maybe you’ve heard the women who are currently involved in politics might not be as progressive on women’s issues as one might hope. Listen on to find out the reason why!