- June 24, 2020 4:48 AM
- October 1, 2022 5:52 PM
- October 7, 2022 9:14 AM
PHNOM PENH – An ASEAN action plan to promote women’s participation in society and protect them from violence and conflicts has been launched in Phnom Penh.
The Regional Plan of Action on Women, Peace, and Security aims to boost what it calls the four pillars of women’s participation, protection, prevention, and relief and recovery from conflicts.
It was launched by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs with cooperation from USAID and UN Women on Dec. 5.
The plan focuses on encouraging women’s participation to become more meaningful and effective in all decision-making levels and contributions to society.
Women’s Affairs Minister Ing Kantha Phavi said the plan was a milestone towards gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls across the ASEAN region, adding that the plan focused on implementation.
Promoting women’s roles and participation across all realms of peace and security was essential to reach the goal of an inclusive and people-centered community.
The plan would be a guideline for ASEAN which was committed to the protective agenda for women, Kantha Phavi said.
Kheng Samvada, Secretary of State for the ministry, said the plan was a broad policy framework to inspire commitments at the regional level, offered options for national implementation and mobilization of support, and put gender in the mainstream of ASEAN community pillars.
The plan would promote synergy and build on existing frameworks as well as ensuring a built-in advocacy strategy to raise awareness of the ASEAN approach to the security of women.
Each country of ASEAN is different when it comes to the security of women. In Cambodia, the action plan will be the foundation when adapted in line with the country’s context and would be completed next year.
The plan in Cambodia will include the four pillars to respond to violence on women, natural disaster, infectious diseases, and women’s leadership empowerment. All stakeholders and relevant institutions will adapt the plan for further implementation.
The plan was adopted at the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits, and reflects the efforts of institutions and stakeholders engaged in women’s rights, gender equality and peace and security work.
Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn said stakeholders of the international community were responsible for ensuring that women and children in conflict-affected areas were safe from all forms of violence.
“The world is now facing many political issues and humanitarian drama as a result of the ongoing geopolitical rivalries and the great powers' competition,” Sokhonn said during his opening remark at the Gender, Law and Armed Conflict: the Intersection of International Humanitarian Law and the WPS agenda workshop on Dec. 6.
“The ongoing crises and armed conflicts in many parts of the world have taken a heavy toll on our people, and mostly on women and children. Safer, that is all we can realistically hope for.”