Banteay Srei at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

By international volunteer Melanie Sheehan, Capacity Development Advisor for Banteay Srei

On 21st May 2013, the Director of Banteay Srei, Ms Sok Panha, will take part in a workshop organised by UN Women for NGOs and Government representatives, where she will share her experience of attending the 57th meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York, and help them prepare for the 58th CSW in 2014.

Ms Sok attended the meeting in New York in March 2013 as a representative of Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organisation with a network of 180 members representing groups of diverse women from 25 countries.  The network believes that the development framework of the past 30 years has magnified inequalities and disproportionately disadvantaged women in Asia Pacific, and aims to empower those women to use law as an instrument of change and promote their human rights.  Its current campaign asks for four goals to be included in a new development framework to reduce inequalities:  1. Access and Control over land and resources; 2. Decent work and Living wages; 3. Peace and Justice; and 4. Voice.

Ms Sok Panha presenting at the 57th CSW

Ms Sok Panha presenting at the 57th CSW

At the meeting in New York, Ms Sok gave a presentation on “Women’s Access to Land and Resources in Cambodia” at an event entitled “Development Justice: Transforming Development Frameworks to Address the Structural Causes of Inequality”.  Her presentation compared the political commitment previously given to ensuring women’s access to, and control over, land and resources, with the current reality, where women comprise 50% of the population but own only 13.2% of agricultural land, and experience frequent violence and land rights abuses.

Read the full Powerpoint presentation here:  Women access to land and resources