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Cambodian women’s leader visits

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Meg met Mu Sochua, a former Cambodian Minister for Women’s Affairs, during her recent visit to the UK. Mu Sochua came to the UK to talk to Ministers and Parliamentarians about the current situation in her country, and make links with people concerned with human rights.

 

She and Meg discussed the importance of ensuring that the democratic process in Cambodia are respected, with opposition parties being allowed to meet Government appointees, to sit on Commissions (equivalent of UK Select Committees) and to express political opinions. Mu Sochua explained she would like to see resources from DFID going directly to local communes where it can more effectively be spent on development rather than via the national government. Being both Women’s Ministers formerly they included women’s issues, particularly the situation regarding domestic violence.

 

Mu Sochua is currently Secretary General of the Sam Rainsy Party, and was a Minister from 1998 to 2004. She is considered the principal founder of the women’s movement in Cambodia. She grew up in Phnom Penh but was forced to flee in the early 1970s as the Vietnam War spilled over into Cambodia. Her parents were trapped in the country as it fell under the command of the murderous Khmer Rouge in 1975, and they vanished during the genocide that would claim the lives of roughly one quarter of Cambodia’s population.

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