The Annual Reflection Workshop on the progress of the multi-sectoral response by the GBV working groupsaccess
On 12-13 January 2022, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), with support from the Australian Government through the Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) Program and UNFPA, organised an annual reflection workshop on the progress of multi-sectoral gender-based violence (GBV) response working groups.
The workshop was organised in the Kep province for 80 participants (65 of whom were female) from MoWA, the Provincial Department of Women’s Affairs (PDoWA) from eight provinces, Provincial and District Deputy Governors, the Council Committee for Women and Children, and ACCESS’s Implementing Partners (UN Women, LAC, CWCC, and CARE).
The workshop provided an opportunity for participants to share the results of interventions related to supporting survivors of violence, reflect on challenges and solutions that had been implemented in the past year by GBV response working groups, share lessons learnt from piloting the GBV services monitoring checklist, including the health response to GBV, and develop plans for 2023.
Her Excellency Tes Chan Saroeun, Under Secretary of State of MoWA, stated in her opening remarks that violence against women was a serious violation of human rights that restricted women’s basic rights and freedom and affected the safety of women both inside and outside of the home, as well as posed obstacles to effective and sustainable development in Cambodia. “The Royal Government of Cambodia, through MoWA, has paid more attention to promoting capacity development among service providers and setting up mechanisms to respond to the needs of survivors, in particular in the context of COVID-19, to improve the effectiveness of response services and interventions to support survivors in getting justice.” she added.
Dr Ros Chhay, Senior Program Manager at the Australian Embassy to Cambodia, highlighted in his opening remarks that this year was the fifth and last year of the ACCESS program. This workshop is reflected of results that implemented by multisectoral GBV response coordination mechanisms at the national and subnational levels, and also in terms of the improved quality of services available. He emphasised that the GBV response working groups were crucial to an effective response to GBV in Cambodia. He thanked the participants for the coordinated response mechanism, as a result of which, women, families and communities will have increased confidence in GBV services, and more women affected by GBV will actively seek help.
A participant from Kampong Speu province, Ms Hak Sovann Chandavy, Director at PDoWA, shared her view at the discussion session regarding the result of establishing multi-sectoral GBV response working groups, saying that after forming these groups, the members experiences several changes, including in their behaviour when supporting survivors, sharing information with related authorities, and having good cooperation among stakeholders in province, which improved the quality and effectiveness of the services.
The workshop concluded with the distribution of appreciation certificates to eight provincial chairs and honourable chairs of GBV Responses Working Groups. H.E. Hou Samith, Secretary of State of MoWA provided closing remarks at the workshop, thanking the Australian Government for its support through the ACCESS Program, as well as all participants for their efforts and collaboration in providing quality services to survivors.