Promoting intersectionality between Gender Equality and Disability Inclusion (GEDI)

Promoting intersectionality between Gender Equality and Disability Inclusion (GEDI)

On 14th June 2021, a consultative meeting to promote intersectionality between gender equality and disability inclusion (GEDI) was held by the DFAT-funded Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) Program.

Participants included Ms. Elizabeth Adler, Second Secretary at the Australian Embassy to Cambodia, H.E Nhem Morokot, Under Secretary of State and Chair of the Disability Working Action Group of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), H.E Prak Thaveak Pheary, Deputy Secretary General of the Disability Action Council (DAC), and representatives from the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY),  the ACCESS team, Persons  with Disabilities Foundation (PWDF), ADD International, the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Centre (CWCC), and representatives of women with disabilities from Self-Help Group in the community of Kampong Speu.

The objective of the meeting was to review and agree on the concept note on intersectionality between gender equality (GE) and disability inclusion (DI), and to identify priority activities and develop a joint plan to promote GEDI across institutions working on disability and GBV response.

Ms. Elizabeth Adler stated, “Promoting disability inclusion and gender equality is a key focus of Australia’s foreign policy, economic diplomacy and development efforts. It includes enabling women, with and without disabilities, to fully participate in the political, economic and social life as well as preventing all forms of violence against women and girls. We are proud of the achievements made jointly with our Royal Government of Cambodia’s (RGC) Partners in the last decade to advance the rights of persons with disabilities and women in Cambodia.”

Her Excellency Prak Thaveak Pheary expressed her enthusiasm in being part of the meeting. She appreciated the Australian Government’s technical and financial support to the GBV and disability sectors in Cambodia, especially for persons with disabilities and women affected by GBV.

H.E Nhem Morokot, who chaired the meeting, stated in the opening remarks that​ ending all kinds of violence against women and girls and promoting the rights of persons with disabilities remain central to the main agenda of the RGC to ensure human resource development, sustainable development and inclusiveness. She also appreciated the support from the Government of Australia through the ACCESS Program to support these sectors in Cambodia.

Building on recent collaboration between MoWA and DAC as well as existing good practices, participants identified new avenues to promote GE in the disability sector and how to strengthen the inclusion of disability in GBV services, with a goal to promote full participation of women with disabilities in the Cambodian society.

To conclude the meeting, representatives from both sectors (GBV and disability) agreed on the concept note, and will prepare a joint action plans between DAC/MoSVY and MoWA to promote gender equality and social inclusion.  Additionally, DAC/MoSVY and MoWA agreed to have regular quarterly meeting to update their progress.

The Australian Government, through the ACCESS Program, is working in partnership with the RGC and Implementing Partners to improve sustainability, quality and inclusiveness of services in Cambodia for persons with disabilities and women affected by GBV. ACCESS also works to promote the intersectionality of GBV and disability in Cambodia.