I think it was 2nd December, 2016 when I got an email from UN Women stating that I was selected to participate in a leadership workshop. My heart was pounding fast and I thought “Okay, I’m gonna learn a lot from that.” Then I kept reading that email, “Holy cow! the training was conducted at Sunway Hotel, one of the luxurious hotels in Phnom Penh.”
Okay! I told myself to calm down. I checked google map to clear all my doubt that the Sunway Hotel that I gonna go was the one that I had been dreaming off and yeah it was.
On the day, 3rd of December, I woke up fast and drove my motor off to the hotel. The staff there opened the door for me and gave me a warm smile. I saw two ladies climbing up the stair and I told myself “Yeah! they must be the selected participants as well” so I decided to just follow them and yeah gut feeling is never wrong! They were also the participants.
I along with the two registered together and sit in the same table. Ms. Janet Wong, UN Women’s Country Representative came and gave a small yet precious speech. She told us a brief information of her life and it was so inspiring. I still remember her questions and her words. She asked us to define what leader is, who could be a leader and when we should be or can be a leader. She then say something which I forgot and at the end she said “DON’T BE A LEADER TOMORROW, BUT BE A LEADER TO DAY”. This phrase means a lot to me and because of this phrase, I decided to do something that I never thought I would do (will tell you what’s that thing later 🙂 )
After that, introduction time emerged. I gotta introduce myself telling them my name, my age and the school that I went to. After that the other candidates stood up and introduced themselves. I was so amazed because they were all have jobs. Some are the founder of an organization, some are journalists, activists, IT people and the like.
Several candidates put me in awe. They are disable people. This vulnerable group came and introduced themselves. They were really energetic, enthusiastic, sociable, down to earth, knowledgeable and well-rounded. They never once afraid to give us their opinion. They raised the problems that they met in their daily life and how to cope with it. They suggested us to help them emotionally. I was so amazed and because of them I questioned myself what I should do for this vulnerable group.
After introduction and such, we move on to the Gender Analyzing Tool & Forms of Violence Against Women. It was nice learning about it. We discuss about women role, we also discuss about the verbal abuse, financial abuse, physical abuse and other type of abuse that the women receive from their husband. We also discuss about Women Law (ច្បាប់ស្រី) and how this law influence the society. I was actually against it, I think the law was good though it is a bit conservative while other candidates think there are some negative points in it. So overall it was a great discussion, I gotta know some of their opinion.
We then also talk about rape cases like the factors that forbid women from reporting that they were being raped. We also discussed about how to empower women like make them feel confident, speak up, express their view and report when somebody abuse them or sexual harass or rape them. A lot of opinions were throughout during the discussion. They said it was because Cambodia still prioritize virginity, Cambodia court system or police system is still loose and other kinds of logical reasons. I just can’t disagree anymore Lol!
At the end of the day, someone summarized what we learnt 🙂