Women’s Rights Assessed by UN Committee in Geneva

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Rights groups on Monday shared their concerns about the treatment of women in Cambodia with member states of the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva. Cambodia last updated the committee—which meets three times a year to assess how member states are faring with implementing the principles set forth in the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women—in 2004. Women’s Affairs Minister Ing Kantha Phavi will today submit Cambodia’s second-ever progress report on the subject, though rights groups aired concerns that the country was falling short of the convention. In a report to the committee, the Cambodian Committee for Women (CAMBOW), a coalition of 35 NGOs, says that the government “has achieved little measureable progress; stagnation being the norm, with some areas seeing regression” when it comes to meeting the standards set in the convention. … CNRP lawmaker Mu Sochua, a former minister of women’s affairs, said she believes glaring examples of violence against women—even carried out by state forces in public—show that the government is not doing enough. … Still the government report submitted to the committee says the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women is currently being implemented “in line with the national policy of the government,” and that gender issues have been incorporated into the education system and national strategic plans for the country.