The Women’s Affairs Ministry expresses its dismay and disappointment over the inappropriate comments by Meas Rithy, television host and deputy director of Hang Meas TV, about the rape and murder of a Cambodian woman, which he delivered during the “Morning News Show” on the TV channel on August 10.
Violence against women is a serious crime in Cambodia. Trivialization and jokes around violence against women contribute to perpetuate such violence and constitute a burden for an effective response to these crimes.
These kinds of jokes in the media reinforce the wrong social perception that women are guilty and are to be blamed for the violence they suffer. Perpetrators of violence against women—and not female victims—are the ones responsible for their crimes and therefore the ones who should be prosecuted and publicly repudiated.
The Women’s Affairs Ministry would like to take this opportunity to request all media owners, media editors and journalists to adhere to the Media Code of Conduct for Reporting on Violence Against Women, which has been jointly developed and enacted by the information and women’s affairs ministries. This media code provides a sound basis for an appropriate reporting on cases of violence against women.
Media bear an ethical responsibility to help to stop violence against women and indeed they can be good allies for this cause. Cambodian women deserve respect from journalists and we sincerely hope not to see or hear anything like this in the media again.
Information department director
Women’s Affairs Ministry