CARE Cambodia helped share the message that violence against women is not acceptable with a string of events during the 16 Days Campaign to End Violence Against Women. In total CARE and its partners reached nearly 2000 customers at 80 beer outlets and restaurants, employees at two major beer companies, workers at 3 garment factories, over 3000 students at six schools and universities, staff at 5 government Ministries and over 11,000 members of the public via social media.
CARE joined a Ministry of Women’s Affairs event to launch this year’s campaign, which featured hundreds of participants all wearing orange to show their support. During the event H.E. Ing Kanthaphavy thanked CARE for its advocacy work and stressed the importance of continuing to work with national as well as international companies to implement policies which protect women. She also spoke of the need to resolve issues of gender based violence through the proper legal channels rather than informal mediation.
In Ratanak Kiri CARE also joined an event for the campaign, which was presided over by H.E. Nob Maret, provincial council member and a chair of provincial consultative committee for children and women, and H.E. Keo Savoeun, vice governor of Ratanak Kiri province. Both Excellencies expressed that any case of violence against women and girls is unacceptable. They praised the list of actions to prevent violence which was shared and said that this is a critical subject for the Ratanak Kiri provincial department of Women’s Affairs to understand in order to stop violence against women and girls.
Peer educators from CARE’s local partner Solidarity Association of Beer promoters in Cambodia (SABC) were out in force during the campaign, sharing information with customers across 80 different restaurants and beer gardens.
In high schools and universities, youth joined the campaign with support from People Health Development (PHD) Association’s peer educators. Students hung banners, handed out leaflets and encouraged people to sign commitment cards detailing what action they will take to end violence against women. Over 3000 students joined workshops and events which included activities such as role plays and quizzes.
Social media played an important role in sharing messages during the campaign, with 11,000 people being reached via CARE’s local partner’s Safe Community Forum in the last week of November. The facebook page, part of PHD’s activities to engage men and the community, shared information such as UN Women’s 16 Actions to End Violence Against Women. The most popular messages included ‘Pay attention to woman when she tries to tell you she was abused by someone. Don't judge her by the ways she dresses because no one want to be abused’ and ‘Don't use violence against your children because men who experience violence as a child they are more likely to be violent towards women as adults’. Information about the impact of CARE’s work in Cambodia was shared by CARE globally and by a number of UN Women pages.
CARE staff also showed their support by changing their profile pictures orange on facebook, wearing orange as part of the #orangeurhood online campaign and sharing these messages widely. Many staff members also joined the nationwide group dance event on Saturday 6 December.
In Phnom Penh the group dance was held in Wat Botum park and attracted 1,200 people. CARE staff were among the volunteers from many organisations which helped organise the event. People from across CARE’s program – including beer promoters, students and local partners – flocked to this public space to watch the skits, songs and performances before joining a group performance of the popular ‘Madizon’ dance.