Social Prejudice against Women & How to Overcome Them
Cambodia is the oldest ones among Southeast Asian Countries, and it has distinguished culture from other countries. Women play the crucial role in guardianship the culture, and they have major role in keeping it. In addition, women are responsible for the household while men have gone outside to earn money for supporting the family. Another additional role is financial management, women have right to expend the money but they must report every expenses to husband.
For me, what I have seen about Cambodian culture, especially all women norms and rules (Chbab Srey), it seems women have the power, but it is subjected to man. Based on the culture, women have been discriminated in many forms, especially in social, political and economic activities. To overcome these barriers, women must be bravery to bargain with men because they should have been done what they prefer to do.
Culture has been set by our ancestors, and it might be out of date in some categories. Likewise, reformers should be adjusted them to adapt the present situation better than keeping the old one. Socially, Cambodian culture has set women to do housework and take care of children. If you are conservative you would say, OK; but you will change your perception if you think deeply and critically on this case. Children and houses are not yours, but they’re ours. Why it become your responsibility.
In the public mindset, woman is a weak gender because the public judged on the physical body. Even though women cannot lift heavy things, but they might lift things more than men because they have strong patience. Moreover, women are able do something in which men cannot do. For instance, women are able to give birth, while men cannot do. This is the truth in which men cannot deny, and they should respect the differences.
From the onset of Cambodian culture, women were regarded as leaders (Soma & Hun Tean), but it was subsequently mobilized. In the present, women are not deemed as leaders because they bound by traditional norm. Somehow, it is better now for women because women are crucial co-workers to develop the country.
Before, women were a white cloth, but now they are colorful cloth; because, they can do everything as men. Education makes them different from the culture has been underlined. Women now can earn high pay-job, and standard of their livings are not depend on husbands anymore. They can live independently, and they are not subjected to men as they culture described.
All in all, some parts culture provoke to have social prejudice on women, and they are major constrains to pause country’s development, moreover; they also violated CEDAW and UDHR. To be free from carrying these traditions, women should actively involve in all national careers such as politic, economic and social life to modify that they are not inferior as the public thought. To reach this supreme dream, they have to fight for their freedom and rights to loosen practicing the culture in which not appropriate in the present.
Ven. Heam Sambath