Phnom Penh – While giving high prominence to gender equality in policy agenda, Cambodia continues to face challenges of lower retention of girls in school and high proportion of women engaged in the informal sector (82 percent of labour force) and much less in high-pay occupations, UNDP Cambodia’s Country Director Elena Tischenko said Thursday.
“To foster Cambodian sustainable and inclusive development, we must recognize the important roles of women as much as those of men, in socio-economic development and poverty reduction,” she pointed out.
She was speaking at the High Level Policy Dialogue about MDG acceleration and women economic empowerment that was co-organized by Cambodia’s Ministry of Women Affairs and UNDP.
Representatives of other government’s ministries, civil society organizations, development partners and UN agencies participated in the dialogue on “Promoting Gender Equality toward Achievement of Cambodian Millennium Development Goals.”
The meeting identified bottlenecks and explored opportunities for fast-tracking the achievement of gender equality targets based on the analyses by the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Women Affairs and International Labour Organization, and with inputs from other sectors of the government and civil society organizations. The dialogue called for reaffirmed commitment and better coordination in pursuing this acceleration.
“Investing in women and girls constitutes a breakthrough strategy in and of itself,” Ms. Tischenko said.
“Effective and timely investments in gender equality and women empowerment will help a country not only to achieve its MDG gender targets, but also to make better progress towards achieving other MDG goals,” she said.
Much progress has been made towards the achievement of the CMDGs, and Cambodia is on track to achieve its targets to reduce child mortality and combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. However, according to the CMDG report published by the Ministry of Planning in 2010, many challenges remain in achieving targets in several of the millennium goals, one of which is the MDG 3 – “promote gender equality and empower women.”
H.E. Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Women’s Affairs, said at the meeting that, while Cambodia is progressing well in terms of school enrollment of young girls, “one in every three adult Cambodian women is illiterate.”
“This is a huge handicap in terms of improving human capital and productivity,” she said. “Motivation for girls to stay in school should start in their own family, where mothers have a crucial role to play in recognizing the value of education for greater employment opportunities, social empowerment and better health outcomes,” she added.
Evidence from the CMDG 2010 report indicates that gender gaps remain. Fewer women than men hold decision-making positions in public and private sectors. Fewer girls than boys continue onto higher education. More women than men in the current labor force are illiterate or have lower skills.
“Sustainable solutions to empower women economically are essential for the advancement of Cambodia. They are essential in light of the need to accelerate the achievement of the MDGs, and they are even more essential in the context of economic uncertainty,” H.E. Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi said.
Latest Press Release
PRESS RELEASE Asia-Pacific to comprise two-thirds of global middle class by 2030, Report says 2013 Human ...
The UN engages citizens around the world to take part in shaping the future global development agendaNew York, 12 March 2013 – The United Nations and partners invite people all ...
U N I T E D N A T I O N S N A ...
Phnom Penh – A trilateral agriculture project worth US$400,000 provided by China was unveiled ...
Latest Stories from the Field
Preah Vihear– The sun has just emerged in the horizon but Cambodian farmer Tum ...
Battambang – Farmer Prak Chrin paced slowly as she dropped green bean seeds into ...
Latest Speeches and Statements
Remarks by Ms. Setsuko Yamazaki UNDP Country Director Launching of Cambodia-Chinae-UNDP Trilateral Project on Cassava Exports Phase ...
Remarks by Ms. Setsuko Yamazaki, Country Director National Conference on Mine Action Peace Palace, 2 April ...