by Mom Chantara Soleil
The 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals promises to leave no one behind – a foundation on which the country strategic plan 2016-2021 of child-focused NGO Plan International Cambodia, launched lately under the auspices of Minister of Education Youth and Sport H.E. Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, is built on.
“I am glad that the strategy of Plan International Cambodia for the next five years will actively engage in 11 out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which are also the commitments of the Royal Government of Cambodia,” addressed H.E. Hang Chuon Naron to almost 200 senior representatives of relevant government bodies, embassies, funding agencies, corporate sector, and like-minded organizations.
Happening on the International Day of the Girl (October 11), the five-year program kick-start also urged for collective effort to use systematic data to make girls and women more visible so that they are not left behind, especially in decision making role.
According to Plan International Cambodia’s Country Director Mr. Jan Jaap Kleinrensink, globally millions of girls and women will continue to be invisible and excluded in 2030 unless we have more gender-sensitive data to inform the decisions and investments that can transform their lives.
“Counting the Invisible – using data to transform the lives of girls and women by 2030 – is Plan International’s global call for 2016, striving for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls,” he added.
The Royal Government of Cambodia has made significant and strategic move by promoting women’s political representation.
Based on the latest figures available, the number of women as members of National Assembly is 20 percent and as ministers, secretaries of state, and under-secretaries of state is 11, 21 and 18 percent, respectively. The number of women elected as members of capital/provincial, city/district/Khan councils is 13.2 percent and of commune/Sangkat councils is 18 percent.
Increasing women’s political representation will consequently allow the issues of girls and women at all levels to be better heard and addressed.
H.E. Hang Chuon Naron highlighted that the supporting role of NGOs in the development of Cambodia, including the effort to promote gender equality is welcomed and it is indeed a priority of the government.
Plan International Cambodia started its operation in the kingdom in 2002. Centering on children’s best interest, our interventions in 17 provinces have directly benefited over 600,000 children and almost 80,000 families across Cambodia.
The work of the child focused community development organization is covering about two third of Cambodia. Looking into the lens of gender equality among children and youth, the intervention is running in close partnership with concerned government institutions and local NGOs, particularly in the area of early childhood care and development; basic education and vocational training; child protection; water, sanitation and hygiene; and nutrition.