Signing Ceremony on Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs

Remarks by Ms. Alissar Chaker Resident Representative, UNDP Cambodia

February 15, 2024

H.E. Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs
H.E Ms. Kim Siphat, Secretary of State of MoWA
Excellencies, distinguished guests, and colleagues,

It is my great pleasure to join you in today’s Consultation Workshop on the design of the 5-year Strategic Plan for Gender Equality and Women Empowerment, the “Neary Ratanak phase VI”.

Let me start by acknowledging the immense progress the country has made in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. However, let us also recognize that there is still much to be done. Women and girls continue to face exclusion, violence, and structural barriers to social protection, economic empowerment, education, healthcare, etc. They are also the most resilient to shocks as exposed during the pandemic and disasters such as floods. It is with the intent to work together for a future where all individuals have equal rights and opportunities that I join you today. The 5 years strategic plan will serve as a roadmap toward achieving this vision. It is a joint commitment to uphold the rights of women and girls and promote a society where every person is free to pursue their dreams, regardless of gender.

Excellencies, distinguished guests, and colleagues,

UNDP has been working with the Royal Government of Cambodia, namely the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, for over two decades providing technical assistance capacity development and research support to develop and implement gender-sensitive national policies and frameworks. 

The Ministry has gone a long way in increasing cross-sector coordination and initiatives - the latest being with the MEF for increasing budget allocations for gender equality. We are here today to reconfirm our solid partnership mobilizing our respective capacities to enhance the implementation and monitoring of national gender policies, and legislative and financial frameworks. 

The MOU we’re signing today focuses on the following key areas, namely supporting:

  • The elaboration and implementation of the Neary Rattanak VI and the National Policy on Gender Equality, in line with the Pentagonal Strategy Phase I 2024-2028 and the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), through creating an enabling environment for women and girls to access rights and opportunities. 
  • The formulation of the Neary Rattanak VI Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework and the upgrade and digitalization of the monitoring system to provide real-time data and insights for tracking progress and identifying areas for improvement and opportunities.
  • The development of evidence-based studies and research, such as investing in the care economy, gender digital gap, and women in the informal sector for informing relevant strategies and policies for promoting gender equality and women's empowerment.
  • Launching work on gender-responsive budgeting to ensure resources are allocated where they are most needed for gender equality and women's empowerment.

Excellencies, distinguished guests, and colleagues,

In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to take a moment to acknowledge and commend the unwavering efforts and commitment of the Ministry of Women's Affairs over the past two decades, under the leadership of Her Excellency Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi. I also thank development partners, UN sister agencies, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and Women Rights Organizations for diligently advancing gender equality and women's empowerment. 

We believe in the power of partnerships. Working together, we can leverage our resources, expertise, and influence to create meaningful change. I am personally a firm believer in the wise saying “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far go together”.  So, let us continue to stand together, united in our shared pursuit of a society where every woman and girl can thrive and reach their full potential.

Thank you.