Cambodia

“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.
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Even with the government's crackdown on activists' plans to organize on International Women's Day, the young women of JASS-inspired network CYWEN plan to make their voices heard, and help advance the momentum for change that is looming on the horizon in Cambodia.
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Following post-election political tension between the two main political parties after the July elections in Cambodia, young women activists from the Cambodian Young Women’s Empowerment Network and others took to the streets to appeal for peace.
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Southeast Asia celebrated International Women's Day on March 8 with a memorable bang!  From protests to parades, to cultural performances and dance-exercises, and to dialogues and discussion groups, women across Southeast Asia including, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and Timor L’este commenmorated this day with vigor and awe.    
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"I’m willing to join more protest actions and even be detained every week just to get women’s and the people’s message across,” says Abigail Extremadura, a Filipino woman activist who was arrested in a demonstration on the eve of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) commemoration. Upon the vigilance of fellow women activists from GABRIELA, Abigail was released the following day. Undaunted, she once again partook in the IWD protest marches; this time, with more intense commitment.
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“When a woman goes to a police station to report domestic violence in Malaysia, the police ask questions such as ‘how many children do you have?’ or ‘do you love your husband?’ Then she is told to go back home,” says Manohara Subramaniam of JASS Southeast Asia. This situation is so familiar. It happens in Malaysia, in all countries of Southeast Asia and in many places across the globe.
Southeast Asian women literally shook the streets in an unconventional celebration of Valentine's Day on February 14. In Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines, women activists from JASS Southeast Asia held simultaneous activities as part of the global One Billion Rising campaign to end violence against.
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From February 15-20, JASS’ Board and Regional Directors gathered for a series of meetings in Washington DC to develop a vision, plan and agenda for what JASS will become by 2020. This time was filled with exciting events including a panel discussion on the political empowerment of women at George Washington University as well as a fun dinner party with the Crossregional team.
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A recent addition to JASS since November 2012, Yit Sophorn is JASS SEA’s program assistant. Yit completed a sociology degree at Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), Cambodia in 2009. During her studies, she volunteered for different NGOs such as the Youth Resource Development Program (YRDP), Child Rights Foundation (CRF) and Gender and Development for Cambodia (GADC).
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“One fight, One Voice: Women, Assert Your Rights” was the overarching theme of JASS Southeast Asia’s 2nd annual One Day, One Voice regional campaign. Commemorating the global 16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Women, during the first week of December, Southeast Asian women from Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia & the Philippines took to the street to denounce the increasingly alarming rate of state-sponsored gender-based violence.
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