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

Venue: Department of Women’s Affairs, Takeo Province, on Friday, August 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 a trainer , Mrs. SUON Sovann Project Officer as a trainer ,Ms.CHUON Chamrong Program coordinator from HBF, Mr. PHANG Pin Sangkat chief of Sangkat Rorka knong as a trainer, Ms.Pich Sotheavy community chief of women’s affairs Sangkat Rorka knong as a trainer, Mr.MOM Mony, MIRO’s key person as workshop assistant, Mr.Khorn Sokheng, 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: 26 participants were selected and invited to attend the workshop, five participants were men.26 people showed up in the morning and afternoon. There was a whole range of ages, from16-60, present in the group. It has to be noted that there was a child who came to the workshop because his mother did not want to leave him at home. Out of all the participants about 7women 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 Takeo town namely Thnol Bek, Lory and Deum Ampil.

Methodologies: We used LCD projector for show up all lecture and video clip 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, example actual in society, so that the participants can express concerns or questions that have in mind to find solution . Mr. Phang Pin Sangkat chief of Rorkaknong used theory approach and provide a lot of is information related to duty and responsibility of sangkat. He also highlights the role of the commune councils and jobs offered to citizens in commune/Sangkat.Ms.Pich Sotheavy community chief of women’s affairs Sangkat Rorkaknong 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 upon 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 time table 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 Ms. CHUON Chamrong, Program Coordinator Gender Democracy of Heinrich Boll Stiftung: She opened up the day with a welcome remark, thanking all the Khmer Krom participants for using their time to attend the workshop. She focuses on what is the policy? Cambodia seems to be afraid of the word policy because people think political seem to bring harm on themselves and their families. But the definition of the word refers to the political debate, which focuses on job management cover all political activities. Why participate in political work? What political benefit?. All citizens have the right to participate in political work, if there is no implementation will not get any good results, Example: people in the community should be participate in communal work, such as monthly meetings to express concerns, demand, issues, so as to find a solution, if people did not mention what their wants, they cannot get their benefit. So participation is the most important point for the development of its response to the needs of the whole community. Related to promoting women participation in political work she noted that women accounted for 52%, but the women’s participation in politics is still low. So should be promote women to participate more in politic work, but should be provide the opportunity and have strong support from men of important factors. Ms. Chamrong also encouraged women to participate more social and political work, abounding more important because it forces women to join the development of Cambodia.

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 1.20.01 PMAfter the welcoming speech of representative of HBF Ms. Chamrong, Sovanrith give his lecture about the history of women participate in political work in Cambodia ,before start to explain the lesson, Sovanrith was ask the question to participant: do you know which country has women as a leader?. He was show 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. He was given a general overview of photo of women leader like Men Sam Orn, Eung Kanthaphavy, Hillary Clinton, Ying Luck Shinawatra, Angela Merkel, Park Geun-hey, Aung San Suu Kyi, and so on. And he was showing some video clip about women’s leader life, and how they can become a leader. He was ask participate about what they want to do in the future?. A young lady said she wanted to be a bank employee, what she must do to achieve this objective?.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 its efforts to strengthen the knowledge, skills and experience to compete with men, the men and the families must provide opportunity and encourage women and girls 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 right to expression and work together, have the right to express their needs and interests. Especially women need to participate in decision-making, so woman’s need will be resolved. Overall, the participation of the citizens find out what the needs of the people to strengthen decision problem and the needs of citizens, increase resources and implement effective transparency and strengthen accountability. This  topic also want to give all participants understand how their rights to join the decision according to the policy that candidate were promised. 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, comments,…People have rights and roles to participants for develop their village and commune and it’s as well as the nation.  The role and duties of commune council by Mr. Phang Pin Sangkat chief of sangkat Rorkaknong.He has shown the role of CC has two key points are to serve local and state agencies :public services: such as roads improve, welfare residents, out of court mediation when people have a problem in order to reduce costs and live in peace without enemies, vital record office.etc.He said the important point that people need to know like join every meeting, especially development planning meeting, example: lack of track, lack of wells, Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 2.23.19 PMlack of schools….,people are less interested in this job, because when inviting them to attend a meeting, if the village of 100 households should be 60% attend, but only 30% were attended. He stressed that the implementation of the project had the necessary participation from citizens, whether the work already completed can be accepted or not ?this is the rights of citizens, commune chief only coordinator. The bidding shall be held in public, must have more than 3 companies for competition, the citizens should be attending for need to listen that familiar work. At the end of the presentation he has given time to all questions and comments to him. 3 questions were ask to sangkat chief: 1.Ms.Srey Men was requested to Sangkat chief to help make the birth certificate for his son because now he was 17 years .2. Ms. Chin Lon asked about the delay of the identity card to her son?. 3. Ms. Chamrong asked whether any such strategy to encourage people to attend meetings to commune more?.

The function of committee of women affairs and child on commune sangkat by Ms. Pich Sotheary, committee chief of women affairs and child sangkat Rorkaknong.Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 2.29.01 PMShe mentioned the role and tasks of the Committee for Women and Children Affairs communes 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 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 further confirmed that, to help women and children get a high efficiency of various departments in the province helped to co-operate and support, such as the Department of Women’s Affairs, Department of Education Youth and Sports, Department of Health, the provincial police chief and district offices. 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, including a pregnant woman poor1 is also received allowance of 60,000 riels when deliver baby. Ms.Chamrong was ask a question: why we know people in conditions poor1 or poor2? Mr. Mony : how composition that was made to found people in conditions poor1 or poor2? Ms. Prak Sreyneat was ask a question related to her situation: She has no own land and house, why she didn’t got a coupon of poor1 or poor2 from local authority? 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.  Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 2.31.58 PMAfter lunch a brainstorming activity was conducted .we were three groups discussions about: If women want to participate in social and political work, What requirement that women should be have? . 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.  The 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 services related fix prices. 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 is16% 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). Then we divided into 3 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, Ms.Chamrong, representative of HBF , she asked the participants to share what they have learned in the workshop with the people in their community, because all the topics that were addressed in the lectures are very useful , especially Khmer Krom, in order to help them understand about important of participation . She encouraged all participants should attend every meeting of the Communes and express the concerns and needs of the community as well as, to the meeting in order to find a solution. She suggested to all people should be committed to attend all activities in commune level, both social and politic works, especially women, should be developed continuously and men should be provide the opportunities for women also, so more women will be involved in decision making in all sectors. Finally, she expressed her thanked to MIRO’s team, the participants and Department of Women’s Affairs for providing the location.


1. 19 participants were interested in the following topics: history of Cambodia’s women is participating in politic, rights and role of people’s participation in social and political work, the role and duties of the commune council, the functions of committee of women’s affairs and child on commune and 7 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. 23 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 strategy to promote women to public affairs.

4. 23 participants were satisfied with the material and facilitation, capacity of trainers, and training methodologies. 3 were not so much satisfied with the material and facilitation.

5. Recommendation of participants: 1- provides more training about how to promote women to participate more in social and political work. 2- Provides more training for new people. 3- Should be having workshop training for a different subject like: Crops, livestock, sewing skills, accounting, chef, etc.

6. Conclusion based on the evaluations: All participants showed strong interest in the topic 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, the history of women participate in political work ,promoting women in politics through NGO, and so on, they will change behavior to participate all social activities , so they will be able to further develop their communities.

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