Supporting Women with Disabilities in Business and Access to Inclusive Financial Servicesaccess
On 7th April 2021, with support from the Government of Australia-funded Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) Program, the Agile Development Group organised a dissemination forum on “Women with Disabilities in Business and Access to Inclusive Financial Services”.
The forum aimed to share lessons learned and discuss with key stakeholders, including government officials, non-government representatives, persons with disabilities, and private sector representatives, about best practices to raise awareness of women entrepreneurs with disabilities in business and accessing inclusive financial services.
Through the ACCESS Program, women with disabilities across five Cambodian provinces enhanced their business skills. For example, through Agile’s efforts, 57 women with disabilities improved their financial literacy, business management, networking, and product branding skills.
Four women shared their experience and stories at the forum. Mrs. Sieng Sokchan, who runs a Handmade Souvenir business in Battambang, said, “I feel confident and a lot more empowered now. I can better manage my business by developing a clear budget plan”. Most importantly, she is also advocating for disability inclusion in her community.
Mr. Yeap Malyno, Director of the Department of Welfares for Persons with Disabilities, extended his heartfelt appreciation to the Australian Government through the ACCESS Program for continuously supporting persons with disabilities and the Government of Cambodia to promote sustainable and quality services. Mr. Malyno acknowledged the support from ACCESS, including establishing hotlines for persons with disabilities to access services and information, contributing to the development of Disability Identification program by providing Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) card printing machine and backup server, supporting the finalization of the National Guideline on Inclusive Employment and Technical Vocational Education Training, and procuring and disseminating COVID-19 protective materials to organisations and persons with disabilities. He stated, “We have made significant achievements collectively, and we are collaborating toward more achievements.”
Ms. Elizabeth Adler, Second Secretary of Australian Embassy to Cambodia, was also present and provided, “Promoting economic inclusion and investing in women remains at the core of the Australian Aid program. The Government of Australia remains committed to supporting our long-standing partners and promoting resilience of the people of Cambodia, especially the most vulnerable groups.”