Information in Khmer about women's issues becomes available on the internet
By KONG Sidaroth
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA, 24 October 2007
The Open Institute – a Cambodian NGO - launched a Khmer language web portal on October 24 2007. It will give non-governmental organisations, the government, and other organisations working on women's issues in Cambodia easy access to legislation and latest developments related to women's issues. The web portal -through advanced communication tools open to all participants and users- will allow government, NGOs and individuals to share their concerns and announce their activities, in search of synergies with other organisations. This web portal fills a pressing need in Cambodian society, as information on womens issues, legislation and activities has not yet been made available in the Internet, as it is not so easy to find otherwise.
The Women's web portal aims at promoting gender equality in a society in which women can exercise their rights in a balanced way and can build competence to become self-sufficient, with improved women’s participation in social, economic and political life. It does so by providing information that may help other NGOs increase their impact.
Information available on the Women's web portal includes laws, legal documents, conventions to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, the current state of challenges faced by women, profile and activities of women's institutions and networks, sharing of life's experiences by women, news related to law enforcement and practice, Information Technology, capacity building, leadership, and many other issues that might affect women in Cambodia.
The Women's web portal also provides advanced tools for communications among users and participants. These tools facilitate exchange of information among organizations, supporting their efforts to act in coordination. The tools include mailing list, online forums, the possibility for all user to write their own blogs, and for NGOs to maintain their own pages with information about their profiles, goals and activities. The web portal is accessible at http://women.open.org.kh
Mrs. Chim Manavy, Executive Director of the Open Institute, commented in her speech that “The Women's web portal is an important resource to disseminate information, share knowledge, and facilitate communication in society. Information is power. Expression of opinions helps improving confidence. Therefore, when women have access to sufficient information, understand about rights, have access to knowledge, and are confident, their participations through various activities in social development will be strengthened.”
The Women's web portal is an important part of the “Women Empowerment for Social Change” program of the Open Institute. Another important activity of this program is to build capacity in organizations working on women's issues on the use and teaching of Khmer computer software and electronic communications as a tool for empowerment of women. The Women's program also conducts research on gender and ICT.
The launching of the Web portal was attended by over 120 participants, and counted with the participation of Sy Define, Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Women Affairs, who expressed her happiness to see the new web portal come to life, supplying more than necessary information for Cambodian organizations. She also conveyed the hope that access to this information it might help reduce domestic violence.
This programme is financially supported by the Open Society Institute – OSI - and Spanish International Cooperation Agency – AECI.
For additional information, please access to http://women.open.org.kh or contact to the Women's program of the Open Institute via the phone number 023 224821.