Australia supports Gender Equality training to staff of Physical Rehabilitation Centers (PRCs)

Australia supports Gender Equality training to staff of Physical Rehabilitation Centers (PRCs)

The Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) Program plays an imperative role in advancing gender equality and disability inclusion in Cambodia. As part of these efforts, the Program delivered gender equality (GE) training to 43 participants (27 of which were women). These included staff from 11 Physical Rehabilitation Centers (PRCs) across the country, a prosthetic and orthosis factory and the Persons with Disability Foundation (PWDF).

With support from the Australian Government, through the ACCESS Program, the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center (CWCC) organised this training, which took place during the last week of August and the first week of September 2021. The training sessions aimed to raise awareness on gender equality among relevant disability stakeholders and provide coaching on how to provide responsive and inclusive services to persons with disabilities.

Mr Mam Sothara, Deputy Director of PWDF, in the opening session emphasized the value of the training for improving knowledge and awareness surrounding the effective provision of services, in particular for women and girls with disabilities. He expressed his gratitude for the support from the Australian Government through the ACCESS Program to the PRCs. He hopes that the support from the ACCESS Program and related partners will strengthen the quality and inclusiveness of services to persons with disabilities and their families.

Throughout the course, participants shared their experiences, expectations, and concerns. Their expectations included receiving new knowledge on GE and violence against women and PWDs, increasing the number of females seeking support from the PRCs, encouraging participation from women in the society and increasing the attention of authorities on the issue of violence against women and PWDs. Their concerns included limited ability of the trainees themselves to support targeted groups, the reluctance of women to visit a PCR without someone accompanying them, and limited participation and support for PRCs from people in the community.

The ACCESS Program supports six out of the 11 PRCs in Cambodia. Primary services provided by PRCs include the production of prothesis, orthosis and other assistive devices, provision of physiotherapy at post-acute and long-term phases, and the provision of wheelchairs, and social services.