I got married at the height of the Cambodian peace rallies last year. During this time, the women’s groups in the peace rallies formed a volunteer paramedic team and I immediately joined. But, this decision became our first marital argument. But today my husband has realized why it is important to get involved. He just says, “Run very fast when police starts dispersing.”
“As a Cambodian woman, everyday is a constant negotiation for me. After endless discussions, I was able to convince my mother to give me a chance to get a higher education. It almost seemed impossible, but I was able to do it,” says Chamnorng Som, member of the JASS-inspired organization CYWEN.
How can you best support poor women in their struggles for a steadier livelihood when survival is a daily battle? In an interview with JASS Southeast Asia's Osang Langara, PEKKA's Oemi Faezathi explains how this process begins with organizing around women's practical needs.
When Manohara and her fellow activists came together to form the Women’s Equality Association (WEA) in 2012, they thought, “Maybe we should form a women’s shelter where we will do real work.” In the beginning, the foremost question that they had in mind was, “What are we going to do that is different from others?”
When I first met Siti Harsun, my impression was of a quiet girl and a warm smile. But I soon learned not to be fooled by her appearance. Beneath her gentle manner, Harsun is a fierce organizer. Once our discussion turned to food security, her soft voice became fiery and filled with indignation.