Political leaders discuss regional challenges as women face increased gender-based violence 

Gender-based violence remains a challenge, ASEAN Summit kicks off, Cambodia neglects cyber-scam industry, Malaysia’s lost village

November 12, 2022
Political leaders discuss regional challenges as women face increased gender-based violence 

Hello Globe readers,

This week’s stories feature the severity of gender-based sexual abuse and human trafficking across Southeast Asia while members of ASEAN kick off the annual summit on regional security as Cambodia prepares to pass the bloc’s chairmanship to Jakarta in 2023. 

As ASEAN leaders are gathering in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for the annual ASEAN meeting, the country is juggling between leading the event and tackling human trafficking in the cyber-scam industry. While Globe’s Contributing Editor Andrew Haffner analyses how Chinese cyber-scam conglomerates hit Cambodia’s reputation, Globe’s reporter Nasa Dip delves into the upcoming 2022 ASEAN Summit’s agenda, which, according to experts, should push regional leaders to solve the Myanmar crisis and include discussion on cyber-scam-related human trafficking issues across the region.  

But regional challenges are not the only issues included in the Summit’s agenda. With the presence of U.S. President Joe Biden as well as key leaders from across the globe, the meeting will also tackle supra-regional threats such as the war in Ukraine and the U.S.-China power game. 

While the region looks to the future, Refugee camps remain no safe place for Rohingya women. What should be a ‘refuge’ from harm has become just another place where girls and women live in fear. Dayna Santana Pèrez dives into the ongoing, and often hidden, sexual violence that permeates marriages among Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, where child marriage, trafficking, abuse, and gender-based aggression are commonplace. 

Even in traditional family units, where women are supposedly protected and safe, sexual violence is not uncommon. Thousands of women across Southeast Asia have been sexually abused by their partners or husbands within their households. Molika Heng explains how the region has long been disregarding marital rape as a form of crime because of local taboos, unclear legal regulations, and social norms. 

While regional leaders discuss potential solutions to global challenges, a small Malaysian village continues living peacefully through its past. Philippe Durrant captures the harmony between the current population and the ruins of a lost Malaysian village, once a centre of tin production.

That’s all for this week. Enjoy the features.

Read more articles