CARE Cambodia will be marking the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women with the launch of a new campaign and activities across the capital. The campaign—which was previewed at a recent event to mark Orange Day and focuses on the message ‘Sexual harassment stops here’ (គ្មានការបៀតបៀនផ្លូវភេទនៅទីនេះ)—aims to encourage people to declare that they will not tolerate sexual harassment in their workplaces and communities.
CARE will be organising events in schools, universities, local business, and local communities in Phnom Penh. In schools and universities, CARE is supporting local partner People Health Development Association (PHD) to raise awareness among students in the weeks leading up to the 16 Days of Activism. They have a special focus on encouraging men to take action to say that violence against women is never acceptable.
CARE will also be working with business owners such as factory managers and entertainment outlet owners to organise events. Banners will be displayed with the fictional character ‘Chanda’, a young woman who has found the strength to stand up to sexual harassment and is now confidently supporting others to do the same. People joining these events will have the opportunity to take pictures of themselves standing with Chanda and post them to the Safe Community Forum facebook page to show their support.
Events in garment factories will include interactive games at lunchtimes for workers to win prizes, while those in outlets such as beer gardens will focus more on customers. CARE will be encouraging people to sign commitment cards detailing what actions they will take to stop sexual harassment from happening in their workplaces and communities. A new karaoke song will be played in selected locations, with women from local organisation the Solidarity Association of Beer promoters in Cambodia (SABC) available to tell people more about the campaign.
Tuk tuks which joined an Orange Day parade in October will be out in force during the campaign. Drivers will be talking to their customers about the importance of shifting the blame away from women and supporting them to report gender-based violence when this occurs. In Prek Leap commune, where CARE has been supporting local authorities to develop Standard Operating Procedures for reporting incidences of violence, this will go a step further. Members of the Commune Committee for Women and Children (CCWC) will be speaking with individual landlords and distributing materials with specific details of how to contact local police.
CARE will also join events such as the group dance organised by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and is working with UN Women to promote the activities of many organisations across Cambodia.
“The 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women is a very important campaign for CARE as we strongly believe in women’s right to a life free from violence,” says Country Director Joanne Fairley. “This is why we have chosen this time to roll out our new focus on addressing sexual harassment. We want to change people’s behaviours and shift blame away from women, so that women who experience harassment are listened to without judgement, shown support and encouraged to report to the relevant authorities. We hope that this will create an environment where sexual harassment is not tolerated in Cambodia.”
For further information, please contact: Pysal Eart, Program Manager – Gender-Based VIolence, firstname.lastname@example.org
CARE is an international development organisation fighting global poverty with a special focus on working with women and girls to bring sustainable changes to their communities. CARE was founded in 1945 and has been working with Cambodians since 1973. CARE works with hundreds of thousands of people in Cambodia every year, particularly women who have migrated to urban areas, women and girls from ethnic minorities and rural women who are denied multiple rights. CARE has been working to end violence against women in Cambodia for more than a decade with funding from the Australian Government and the UN Trust Fund to End VIolence Against Women.
The 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Women is an annual global campaign, which starts on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and continues until International Human Rights Day on 10 December. In Cambodia, UN Women, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and many other organisations join together to raise awareness of ending violence against women. Further information about events in Cambodia will be published at www.16days.info.