Women Focus Of World Day

The UN Population Fund focused on the situation of Cam­bodian women and girls Tuesday as part of its World Population Day celebrations.

To mark the day, the Ministry of Women’s and Veteran’s Affairs and UNFPA examined the pro­gress that has been made in improving the situation of women and the work that still has to be done to achieve equality in a male-dominated society.

They noted that many Cam­bodian women do not have the freedom to make choices that shape their lives. Statistics show that 57 percent of women are illiterate and only 53 percent have access to basic health care services. Women make up only 6 per­cent of government officials and parliamentarians.

Yoshiko Zenda, UNFPA’s representative in Cambodia, said there have been significant im­provements, including the introduction of  family planning in 1995 and an increase in contraceptive use.

“In terms of policies and rights, Cambodia has all of them in place,” she said. “But whether wo­men can exercise these rights is another issue.”

Many Cambodian women use traditional birth attendants who do not have proper training, leading to many deaths during labor. There is a need for trained midwives, but they are considered expensive by most Cambodians and sometimes are not available in rural areas.

A celebration held Sunday promoted education in reproductive health and in fighting domestic violence.


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