Conference Studies Ways to Empower Women

Delegates from across South­east Asia ended a three-day workshop Wednesday that discussed gender and the region’s commitment to the Millennium Develop­ment Goals as set out by the UN.

Minister of Women’s and Vet­erans’ Affairs Mu Sochua on Mon­day welcomed representatives from Nepal, the Philippines, Viet­nam, Bangladesh and Burma who gathered in an effort to strengthen regional ties and bolster women’s opportunities in both governmental and public sectors.

Of the seven Millennium De­vel­opment Goals established by UN member nations in 2000, goal No 3 was particularly important to conference participants.

The goal—to promote gender equality and empower wo­men—aims to eliminate gender dis­parity in primary and secondary education by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015.

UN Development Program Resident Representative Domin­ique McAdams said Cam­bodia is on track to achieving some goals, in­cluding halving the proportion of people who are undernourished and ensuring universal com­­pletion of primary education. But she said the country is lagging in eliminating gender disparity in secondary and tertiary education.

The workshop should impel Cambodia to move forward with its Millennium Development Goals report, which is due for presentation to the UN General Assembly by year’s end, said UNDP information officer Sue Spencer.

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