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[Press release] The Elsie Initiative Fund for Uniformed Women in Peace Operations (EIF) announced today that Cambodia will receive funding to undertake a study to identify barriers to the deployment of women in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), to United Nations peace operations. Cambodia, the 25th highest troop contributing country to United Nations peacekeeping, currently deploys 766 military personnel, among which 14 per cent are women.
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2016 was the year I embraced who I am, it was the year I joined the equality for all movement, and it was the year I asked myself who am I? My name is Thida Kuy, I am Cambodian, I am the Co-Founder of Loveisdiversity and I am a LGBTQ+ activist.
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My name is Sinoun Poev. I am 26 years old and I am from Cambodia. Currently I'm a project coordinator of Collective Action to Support Women's Right with Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT), a local NGO in Cambodia. This project aims to link the community and civil society to government by increasing women and youth participation and leadership in decision making processes in Cambodia.
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There is a Cambodian proverb: “A man is gold; a woman is a white piece of cloth.” The implication is that gold (men) can be made clean and shiny if dropped in mud, but the cloth (women) is stained and ruined. This saying mirrors the sentiment of generations in our country’s society and their view on female sexuality. This portrayal of women’s sexuality is one example of how women often lack their sexual rights and autonomy.
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Dynamic and award-winning Tongan athlete, ‘Atamaama Tu’utafaiva, believes here is no such thing as “man’s” or “woman’s” sport. Photo: Talitha Project/Alokoulu Ulukivaiola   My name is ‘Atamaama Tu’utafaiva. I am 24 and come from the village of Kolofo’ou in Tonga. I play for the Ha’apai Island national rugby team. The first time I played rugby was in 2016 for the 15s team for the village of...
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Siunipa Pahulu after a rugby training session in Tonga. Photo: Talitha Project/Alokoulu Ulukivaiola   My name is Siunipa Pahulu. I turn 20 in November I come from the small Island of Ha’apai in Tonga, but I reside in Ha’ateiho, Tongatapu. I’m a seamstress and I want to be a fashion designer one day. I undertake rugby training every morning and afternoon, and during the day I sew clothes to support myself and my family. I started playing rugby in February this year...
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Father-daughter duo Kotoni and Vasa ‘I Vao Feleti, have been playing sports together since Vasa was in Class 1, in Tonga. It was very early on that former international rugby player Kotoni, saw “incredible potential” in his young daughter and decided to nurture it. Photo: Talitha Project/Alokoulu Ulukivaiola Vasa ‘I Vao Feleti   My name is Vasa Feleti, and I am 13 years old. I really like playing rugby 7s. The first time I played rugby, I...
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Dok: “I have worked on numerous construction sites in Thailand for the last 20 years. I am a hard worker with a good reputation with my supervisors. After the COVID-19 outbreak, my work situation quickly deteriorated. Many construction projects were halted in March-April and, of course, this meant no work and no income for me. My colleagues and I stopped working around the time Cambodia celebrated the Khmer New Year. I wanted to be with my family during this difficult time, so I decided...
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Interview with Kong Ravin, Deputy Chief of Unit of the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Bureau, Provincial Police Commissioner, Kandal Province, Cambodia.
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Gender-based violence crisis centres from six countries in the Pacific have faced not only the COVID-19 crisis, but also in some countries, the dual impact of a tropical cyclone. UN Women’s Ending Violence Against Women and Girls programme works in close collaboration with government, civil society organisations, communities and other partners to promote gender equality, prevent violence against women and girls, and increase access to quality response services for survivors, especially during emergencies.
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As COVID-19 started making headlines back in January, crisis centres for survivors of violence against women in the Pacific started preparing for the possible implications, should it reach their shores. Having experienced multiple natural disasters and emergencies over the years, they knew that rates and severity of domestic violence escalate during crises, often coupled with disruptions to support services and a deprioritization of women and girls’ safety by state, police and other essential services.
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Cambodia marked International Women’s Day with a Khmer pop music concert and a digital campaign inspired by the HeForShe initiative, a global movement inviting men and people of all genders to stand in solidarity with women to create a bold, visible and united force for a world with gender equality.
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On the road winding into Chreng village in Cambodia’s Pursat province, a group of boys are playing volleyball on an arid plot of land as villagers watch and cheer. Around the corner, 24-year-old Lang Sokang is knee-deep in mulch, unearthing weeds and planting herbs in her garden. Her younger sisters are perched precariously on a wooden platform that serves as a makeshift greenhouse. The girls are carefully transplanting the saplings into little organic cups. In two weeks, the saplings will be ready to be planted in the ground. The sisters tend to the garden after returning from the rice fields in the morning. While they work steadily, a group of men from the village are drinking nearby in merry revelry.
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[Press release] The roll out of the REACH pilot in Vava’u and Ha’apai, from 23 September to 4 October, was led by the Government of Tonga’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, with support from UN Women and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through contributions from the Government of Denmark. The REACH mobile service delivery model began in Fiji in 2015, and this year is expanding to Tonga and Samoa.
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An unexpected visit sparked a glimmer of hope during a dark time in Arihi’s life. She is now an empowered survivor of domestic violence who now knows her rights and how to access financial and legal services.
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“Livestock and rice fields of villagers were damaged,” recalled Kanha, “but the drowning death of a 7 year-old girl was heart-breaking for me.” The girl’s death brought grief to the community in Kampot, the southern Cambodia city where Kanha is Deputy District Governor. When a disaster hits, boys and girls, and men and women have distinct vulnerabilities, and this shapes the way the experience and recover from a disaster. One such vulnerability is gender inequality.
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The new ‘Front Row Against Violence’ project led by Talitha Project in partnership with UN Women will target youth and sports to ensure girls in Tonga are empowered, have equal access to opportunities, and live free from all forms of violence. The Talitha Project partnership with UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO) is supported by the EUR19.5million Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls programme funded by the European Union (EUR12.7m) and Australian Government (EUR6.2m) with support from UN Women (EUR0.6m).
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As a young man, Vutha Phon was troubled to learn that so many women and girls in his country had suffered from gang rape. Even boys assaulting girls. His mother told him about how in the forced-labour fields of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, women were swiftly slaughtered after being raped. Phon is now putting to work his longstanding commitment to help survivors of violence as an officer overseeing the Cambodia project of the UN joint Global Programme on Essential Services for Women and Girls Subject to Violence.
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Seventeen communities in the Kingdom of Tonga have benefitted from the Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion (REACH) community outreach program that reaches those farthest behind.
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“I used to have a rice field, but then I borrowed money and put my land as collateral to build a house. My husband did not help, so I had to find a way to pay the debt on my own. In the past, he was very violent, and I could not say anything. Even though I did not want to, I was considering leaving my daughter behind with my parents to migrate to Thailand to find work and pay my debts. Instead, I heard about a programme through CWCC.