Australia supports Gender Equality training for staff from Organisations of Persons with Disabilities

Australia supports Gender Equality training for staff from Organisations of Persons with Disabilities

With support from the Australian Government, through the ACCESS Program, the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center (CWCC) delivered 2-day training sessions on Gender Equality (GE) to members of Organisations of People with Disabilities (OPDs), which took place four times between mid-August to the end of September 2021. CWCC is working to promote the rights of women and children, gender justice, and elimination of all form of violence against women and children.

In total, 83 trainees (44 females) attended from​ 41 different OPDs across 17 provinces including Kampong Speu, Siem Reap, Prey Veng, Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng, Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham, Tbong Khmum, Pursat, Battambang, Kandal, Kratie, Kampot, Takeo, Mundulkiri, Ratnakiri and Phnom Penh.

The training sessions aimed to raise awareness on gender equality among relevant disability stakeholders so that they can better meaningfully engage in the gender-based violence (GBV) sector and to empower women with disabilities.

Ms Anne Rouve-Khiev, the ACCESS Program Team Leader, stated in the opening remarks: “The ACCESS Program was initiated almost three years ago. I am very proud of our collective achievements so far to advance the rights of women and persons with disabilities in Cambodia. For the remaining two years of the ACCESS Program, we wish to ensure that our work brings more tangible benefits to women with disabilities. We also wish to see more women with disabilities accessing disabilities and GBV services, more successful women with disabilities in entrepreneurship, and more women leading Disabled People’s Organisations or taking leadership roles at the subnational and national level.”

Throughout the course, participants had the opportunity to share their expectations, personal experiences, viewpoints and their understandings around the key training topics such as gender equality, gender equity, power and privilege, and the intersectionality between GBV and disability and equitable services. One participant, Ms Sieng Sokchan, Head of the Women with Disabilities Forum (WWDF) in Battambang Province, shared during the training: “I am very happy to join this training, I will gain my knowledge in GE to improve my work and I will share this knowledge with women with disabilities in Battambang.” Another participant, Mr Oum Ratha, Head of OPD in Mundul Kiri Province, acknowledged the benefit of the training sharing that it introduced to him new concepts on gender equality, and therefore enhanced his understanding of the barriers that women with disabilities face. He said he will share what he has learned with those in his community.

Through the partnership with Cambodia Disabled People’s Organization (CDPOs), the ACCESS Program has engaged OPDs and their members in meaningful discussions on how to improve access and quality of services for persons with disabilities in Cambodia.

The ACCESS Program, funded by the Australian Government, is also working in close partnership with the Royal Government of Cambodia and the implementing partners to advance the rights of women affected by gender-based violence and persons with disabilities in Cambodia through the contribution to the implementation of the National Disability Strategic Plan 2019-2023 and the National Action to Plan Prevent Violence Again Women 2019-2023.