Training Workshop on promoting women’s participation in the development of the commune and politic work

Venue: M’Lop Tapang Center, Preah Sihanouk province, on Monday, September 14th, 2015

Goal: Protect Khmer Krom women’s and participate in social and political activities in their communities

Project Objective: To increase the understanding of civil and political rights, children’s rights, women’s rights and gender equality in Khmer Krom communities; build the capacity of Khmer Krom women to advocate for their rights; and to encourage Khmer Krom women to actively participate in community development and political decision making.

Implementers: Minority Rights Organization (MIRO),Mr. NOUN Sovanrith, Deputy Director as trainer , Mrs. SUON Sovann Project Officer as trainer , Ms. MAO Sopheary Sangkat member of Sangkat number 4 as trainer, Ms. CHAP Vanna community chief of women’s affairs and children Sangkat number 4 as trainer, Mr..KHEAN Vanket ,MIRO’s key person as workshop assistant, Mr.SOUN Buttola ,intern as assistant ,

Topic: History of politician’s women, rights and role of people’s participation in social and political work, role and duties of commune council, function of committee of women affairs and child on commune, promoting women in politics through NGO, national program for democratic development in the sub-national.

Participants: 25 participants were selected and invited to attend the workshop, 5 participants were men. 25 people showed up in the morning and afternoon. There was a whole range of ages, from 16-55, present in the group. It has to be noted that there was two children who came to the workshop because his mother did not want to leave them at home. Out of all the participants about 8women were illiterate with the addition of 2 men. This means that about 70% of the participants were literate. All participants were Khmer Krom and came from three communities located in Sihanouk ville namely: Phum 1, Phum 2 and Phum 5.

Methodologies: We used LCD projector for show up all lecture and video clip and pictures related to the topic of the workshop. There were distinct methods of teaching applied throughout the workshop. Mr. Noun Sovanrith use more of a theoretical approach, by giving a lot of information regarding history of women participate in political works in Cambodia and other country around the world, some pictures were show by LCD. Ms. Suon Sovann used more interactive method combined with a theoretical approach, giving plenty of information about right and role of people participation in social and political work, promoting women in politics through NGO and national program for democratic development in the sub-national, method of teaching is inspired participants to concentrate on each topic through: a raised questions or share their idea, for example, actual in society, so that the participants can express concerns or questions that have in mind to find solution . Ms. Mao Sopheary Sangkat member of Sangkat number 4 used theory approach and provide a lot of is information related to duty and responsibility of sangkat. She also highlights the role of the commune councils and jobs offered to citizens in commune/Sangkat. Ms.Chap Vanna community chief of women’s affairs and children Sangkat number 4 was used theory approach to explain about the function of this committee. Ultimately four lecturers encouraged for everyone to brainstorm collectively and eventually wrote down all that was being said on big sheets of paper, which when filled up, were then hung up on the wall around the participants. Finally these sheets of paper were then rolled up and taken back by the MIRO staff in order to use it as evaluation and inspiration. Before the actual lectures and teachings started, we asked participants about their expectations regarding the workshop and we wrote it on a big sheet of paper and then we made a pre-test  before teaching to measure participant’s awareness regarding the theme of the workshop, a plastic folder was handed out to the participants. The folder contained pens, notebook, lesson plan, agenda, a daily timetable and various informative booklets on promoting political Participation of Indigenous women in Cambodia (HBF) and leaflet of MIRO. At the end of the workshop, a post test was conducted in order to get some feedback on how effective the workshop was.

The proceeding of the training: The workshop lasted one full day, from 07:30 to 17:00. The majority of the participants were very glad to have attended the workshop and expressed gratitude, as Khmer Krom people, to have the opportunity to voice their concerns about their rights and gain new knowledge regarding the effectiveness of further participation in the development and political in commune/Sangkat.

Opening Speech by Mr. NOUN Sovanrith, Deputy director of MIRO: He opened up the day with a welcome remark, thanking all the Khmer Krom participants for using their time to attend the workshop. He suggested to all participants, please focus on the topic of training workshop today is ” promoting women’s participation in the development of the commune and politic work”, this workshop is very special for women ,because all kind of work not only men can do, women can participate too, sometime women were got good result than men. . why we want women to participate more and more in public service and decision making ? .In Cambodia society still think that women not strong as men, women should be a house wife, girl not allow to study far away from home .ect. Sovanrith has comment that all citizens have the right to participate in public and politic work. He was encourage all participate to ask more questions , pay attention for listening all topics of the workshop because today have many guess speaker to explain and should be share idea or comment for join in group discussion don’t be afraid right or wrong..A special thank you was made towards the donor HBF.

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 10.57.39 AMAfter the welcoming speech , Sovanrith was continues his lecture about the history of women participate in political work in Cambodia ,before start to explain the lesson, Sovanrith was mention about quota of women, all political party should be increase women quota in the list and have strategy to promote women to become leader. He was comment that sometime women meet a problem , why men who sold that case, should be women because women know each other than men. And then he was ask the question t o

participant : do you know which country has women as a leader?. And then he showed the history of women’s leadership in Cambodia and other countries around the world, so that  participants can learn the key to development themself into political work. Those picture of women leader were show like Ms.Men Sam Orn, Ms.Eung Kanthaphavy, Ms. Hillary Clinton, Ms.Ying Luck Shinawatra, Ms.Angela Merkel, Ms.Park Geun-hey, Ms.Aung San Suu Kyi.ect. The video clip about women activities was showing, related to real life participants in public and politic work, it is a good lesson learn for women to use for become a leader. Sovanrith was note that, to increase the number of women participating more social and political work there are some key points that need attention, such as women must direct they efforts to strengthen the knowledge, skills and experience to compete with men, the men and the families must provide opportunity and encourage women to participate in social and political work, for more do not let her do housework because men and women have equal rights in a democratic society.

Right and role of people’s participation in social and political work by Suon Sovann, Project Officer of MIRO: Sovann started her lecture by asking participate about meaning of right and politic. She showed the Article 35 of the Constitution States that ” Khmer citizens shall have the right to participate actively in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the country. Any suggestions from citizens have been received and resolved from the organization state ” . She focused on the benefits of the participation of citizens in the development of the commune, because all citizens, both women and men have the rights to expression and work together. Especially women should participate in decision-making, so women’s need will be resolved. This topic also want to give all participants understand how their righs to join the decision making according to the policy candidate were promised. She showed the benefits of the participation of citizens ,the participation of the citizens were find out :what they needs, to strengthen decision making problem , increase resources and implement effectively, transparency and strengthen accountability. She also recommend that: although the election process end, but for people still has rights and duties to join all activities like : community development planning, commune’s monthly meeting, public forum, monitoring , give comments,…People have rights and roles to participants for develop their village and commune as well as the nation.

The role and duties of commune council and perspective to promote women in politics and strategize to support women to public affairs by Ms. Mao Sopheary Sangkat member council of Sangkat No 4, Sihanouk ville. Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 11.01.00 AMShe has shown the role of Sangkat, have two key points are to serve local and state agencies. Commune/Sangkat have duty to provide public services in community like : built or repair the roads , welfare residents, help poor people, use mediation to resolve disputes , family book, vital record office .etc. She said people in community should be change their attitude that was less interest for join commune/sangkat meeting because it very important time for people know about what local authority do? and what people need ? .She was give real example about make Identity card , sangkat was call a meeting for inform people to join but some of them not join the meeting ,so when they need to use it urgent they were to spend a lot of money. She also encourage people to join every meeting, especially development planning meeting, at that time people can raise they need like: lack of road, lack of wells, lack of schools…., people have right to attend all commune/sangkat work, citizen have the right to propose or written complaints ,right to ask the questions , etc. ,. At the end of the presentation she has given time to all questions and comments to her. Five questions were ask to representative of sangkat chief regarding the difficulties and concerns of citizens:

1.Ms.Chhun Sreyon : State was set price for make identity card 10,000 riel, but police demanded more money, please intervene that cases., because people very poor. 2. Mr. Yim Yorn: When will identity card stop making? Will be closing by the end of 2016. 3. Ms. Neang Sakhorn: How about identity card that not yet expired (2017), what to do? Must be change to new form because Cambodia will be integration to ASEAN. 4. Ms. Meas Me was missing family book, whether to go to where? Please go to make it at police’s sangkat .5.Ms.Chan Srey Pov: I have a family book already, my families had 2 children and current I have one more child , I want to add her on family book without pay because of my poverty, what can I do ? Please run to neighborhood police, especially to meet the director police.

The function of committee of women affairs and child on commune sangkat and method of enhancing the participation of women in decision making at the local commune/ sangkat by Ms. Chap Vanna, Committee chief of women affairs and child Sangkat No 4. Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 11.11.02 AMShe mentioned the role and tasks of the Committee for Women and Children Affairs commune/sangkat such as the annual budget and action plan of the Commission submitted to the CC approved, to find the supporting to women’s participation in decisions making on the development of local communes, follow up the status of women and children in the commune and make regular reports to the CC, and the inclusion in the report commune. ect. She had show the important work of the Committee for Women and Children Affairs sangkat no. 4 : directly work with citizens, especially women and children. Set up meetings dealing with women and children on a regular basis, such as women and children affected by domestic violence, orphans abandoned, etc. She added that the Committee was in collaboration with NGOs for co-promoted the consequences of domestic violence, abuse, trafficking, children right, educate children to love their study, urged women to strengthen the capacity to be able to attend all social activities like the men. etc. she was noted that her own  specialize is coordination in the implementation of daily work, She tried to explain to people to stop divorce as case of domestic violence because it affects to they children, she was adding that she has identified families who have domestic violence, because will easily to find a solution for them. She stressed that to promote women’s participation in social and political work, women and people in community should be have more commitments fore improve themself, men and family should be provide opportunity to women too, please note that sangkat No.4 have selected women who have the ability and willingness approximately 20 people, and training them to become activists to help people who are less understanding and help disseminate knowledge and skills that they have to the citizens. She was stress that if the all NGO want to collaborate with Sangkat to help people in community, we are pleasant welcome. At the end of her lecture she showed another important in helping women and local citizens is the registration statistics of poor households, which divided into 2 categories: poor 1 and poor 2. For people who have the coupons poor can go to treatment at hospitals and health centers free of charge. Ms.kan Yot was ask a question: why before I have poor 1 category but now changed to poor 2? Please tell me of reason?. Reply to this question member Sangkat council has promised will helping this issue.

Promoting women in politics through NGO, this topic was explained by Sovann from MIRO. She was talk about history of Committee to Promote Women in politics (CPWP). CPWP was established in 2005 as a joint national network of seven local non-government organizations: SILAKA, GAD/C, COMFREL, NICFEC, WFP, CWPD and CDRI. For vision and mission of the committee to Promote Women in Politics vision is a Cambodian society where women and men enjoy equal access to opportunity and benefits from society. To reach the about vision, CPWP has adopted the following coordinated mission : to promote equal participation and access for both women and men in public office; and to collaborate, develop and jointly implement activities targeted at upholding and advancing women’s participation in public office and politics. Sovann stressed that the participation of women to assertively and locally advocate for other women is the most practical and efficient strategy for CPWP. Women can most dramatically impact the most appropriate and relevant policies and push for more effective and direct intervention for other women and children at the commune/Sangkat. Considering that women comprise 52% of the overall population, but represent only a small minority of key political decision makers is a reflection of the current social and cultural barriers, which prevent adequate representation for this dominant stakeholder of Cambodia society. For solution CPWP is to focus on top political parties and to advocate for an affirmative action policy that will establish increasing quotas for women candidates. Sovann added that participants better understand that all women need to further strengthen its efforts and men must also encourage and provide opportunities to women as well, so women may be able to participate in decisions making and political work as much as men.

After lunch a brainstorming activity was conducted .we were four groups discussions about: What are the obstacles that women cannot participate in social and political work as much as men? The question to be addressed was women need to have: knowledge, professional skill, commitment, high responsible, work experience, particular are motivated and encouraged from men, families and society as well.

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 12.39.13 PMThe last topic of the workshop is: The national program for the development of sub-national democratic by Sovann from MIRO. She presented to the workshop regarding the three-year plan to implement Phase 2 (2015 – 2017) of the Royal Government of Cambodia. The government recognized the value of democratic reforms, development at sub-national level and the important role of national administration in local development and the provision of public services in poverty reduction. All steps in the work activities of social accountability was the participation of citizens, including to make citizens aware of the message: important and explanations about the information of the services of the national administration and relevant control of the people and all sector regarding their citizens with and providing fix prices services. Sovann stressed that to promote the participation of women in social and political work, not only NGOs were done but also map out the strategy of the Government to promote women as well, such as in each step must promote the participation of women, youth and other groups in society, and comments and suggestions from various groups were accepted discussed and settled. Coordinator community numbers at least 50% are women, and at least 25% under the age of 35 years. Indicators have been divided by gender to easily discuss ways to provide services to women who may have features unlike men. She was mention that to promote the participation in the reform process highly significant, the government is committed strongly in improving the ratio of staff women to work in the national administration. As the target is 16% of the director, deputy director, administrative director, deputy division, chairman, vice unit of the municipality province were women and 22% of the prime deputy director of administration and chief deputy unit of the municipality, district and khan are women. Targets this is a priority in the development plan. Commission: governor unit chief and head of the office, all will gain oriented issues related to environment, institutional data and social equity in the provision of services and development at the sub-national level (for example: poverty reduction, gender equality, empowerment of women and protection of human rights of women, children, people with disabilities, older indigenous people).

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 12.50.54 PMThen we divided into 4 groups to discussion about: What the roles and responsibilities of the commune/sangkat ?.The question is that we want the citizens understanding regarding the commune work to do for serve the interests of the citizens in the community and also be aware that its citizens have the right to participate in community development as well. Closing speech: At the end of the day, Mr. NOUN Sovanrith, Deputy director of MIRO , He asked all participants should take all that was learned in the workshop to share with people in the community, and he encouraged people in communities should be participant all activities, both social and politics works because important thing that provide to them were very used full and depend on people need . He add that women, should be attend every meeting of the communes and express the concerns and they needs of the community as well as to the meeting in order to find a solution and men should be provide the opportunities for women also, so more women will be involved in decision making in all sectors.

Finally, he expressed his thanked to MIRO’s team, the participants, M’Lop Tapang Center for providing the location and HBF for having funded the workshop .


1. 20 participants were interested in the following topics: rights and role of people’s participation in social and political work, the role and duties of the commune council, history of Cambodia’s women is participating in politic, the functions of committee of women’s affairs and child on commune and 5 participants were less interested in the following topics The role and duties of the commune council, and , national program for democratic development in the sub- national.

2. 22 participants understood the topic whereas 3 participants understood only a little, especially about rights and role of people’s participation in social and political work and the role and duties of the commune council,

3. MIRO’s next workshop should focus on rights and role of people’s participation in social and political work and perspective to promote women in politics and strategy to support women to public affairs.

4. 24 participants were satisfied with the material and facilitation, capacity of trainers, and training methodologies. 1 was not so much satisfied with the material and facilitation.

5. Recommendation of participants: 1- provides more training about How to promote women in politics and strategy to support women to public affairs.. 2- Provides more training for new people. 3- Should be having workshop training for a different subject related to community development and skill like: Techniques of crops and livestock, skills of sewing, cooking, barber, motorcycle repair. etc.

6. Conclusion based on the evaluations: All participants showed strong interest in the topic were present, they will bring their knowledge to share with friends and family in the communities, To modify behavior to be involved in the development of the commune and political work more, especially women, will be modified in order to compete with men.


All participants were interested in the workshop, even though some of them are illiterate. They thought these were very useful topics and they gained a lot of knowledge from this training. They hope that when people understand better the topics of rights and role of people’s participation in communal development and political participation they will change behavior to be involved in commune development work, and participate in any decision making ,so commune will be provide benefits to the citizens as well. Participants more interest about way to promote women in politics work because they think that women know the problem of women than men, so that men cannot resolve issues for women, but women leaders can help them to be patient and gentle method than men. So all men and women are very important to participant in communal development and politics work.


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