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Recognition of connections between gender-based violence, poverty, and development

Author's name: 
Open Institute
Cambodia

Ms. Chim Manavy, Executive Director of the Open Institute spoke about gender-based violence (GBV) and how there is a strong connection between violence against women (VAW), poverty and development. Violence against women has been identified as a key development constraint as the physical and psychological harm experienced limits women’s ability to participate fully in economic, social and political processes.

Violence against women is one of the most visible outcomes of gender inequality and women’s lack of empowerment. Therefore, it is impossible to achieve the third Millennium Development Goal as long as such abuse persists. Governments around the world have committed to this issue. Nationally, governments have enacted legislation, while regionally and internationally committed through the ratification of binding instruments to respond to and eradicate VAW.

Ms. Chim Manavy’s key note address was made during a questionnaire meeting co-organized by the National League of Commune/Sangkat and the Open Institute on November 16, 2012. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the questionnaire for a survey on GBV jointly conducted by the National League of Commune/Sangkat (NLC/S) and the Open Institute under support of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA).

Ms. Chim Manavy explained the objectives of the meeting are to discuss the draft GBV survey and obtain comments and feedback from participants on the GBV questionnaire. She continued that the main objectives of the survey are:

- To strengthen data among women’s rights organizations, relevant service providers and legal support groups to report, track and develop response strategies to incidences of GBV.

- To Increase general awareness of GBV and the effectiveness / lack of effectiveness of response mechanisms to victims and survivors.A

- To support local authority for improved support and prevention responses to GBV.

Ms. Chim Manavy expressed her sincere thanks to participants for giving up their valuable time to attend the second meeting to discuss the questionnaire for the GBV survey on behalf of the organizers.

The project on “Gender-based violence in Cambodia” is a joint project between the Open Institute and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). It is lead by the APC and implemented by the Open Institute under funding support of The Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER).

The GBV project will increase access to data information for related institutions or Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) that can use the information for developing policies or guidelines as needed. The survey is one project among several activities that are focusing on diagnosing national institution systems for preventing and responding to GBV issues in the areas of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Kompong Thom and Battambang in 2011.

The survey will capture information about the number of recorded cases of GBV and the application of prevention efforts and responses to GBV from the perspective of service providers. The findings of the survey will hopefully contribute to the success of the country’s National Action Plan to prevent VAW and support the Neary Rattanak III.

During in the meeting, Mrs. Mardy Ket, Director of Legal Protection Department of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, appreciated this project. She noted that the GBV project is similar to the work that the Ministry is working on regarding GBV. She also checked the Commune Data Base (CDB) online and has seen that there are statistics available only in 2010 and domestic cases only.

Mrs. Mardy Ket explained that the GBV project will compliment the CDB project and other similar projects. She believes that the use of the Ushahidi platform and the GBV mapping will make GBV information and prevention mechanisms more accessible. She also mentioned added that this project is the first in Cambodia and is very relevant to the work of WOWA.

Ms. Ros Chamroeun Nery, member of commune council in Sangkat Orus Sey3, said she is committed to being involved with the GBV project. She will inform the other commune councilors of the project and inform them how to know and access the information mechanisms and prevention of GBV in her sangkat. Ms. Ros Chamroeun Nery stated that she doesn’t have a system for getting the information issues published or showing the cases. She said “For me, newly access information when I want to find any information is really helpful”.

Meeting participants were councilors, representative of NGOs and representative of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.

Please note that this is the second questionnaire meeting. The first meeting was on August 31, 2012. The meeting and the survey have been done under collaboration between the National League commune/ Sangkats and Open Institute supported by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and financial supported by the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER).

More information: http://www.open.org.kh/en/node/492

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