Friday, October 5, 2007

My Trip to NYC with 2007 Americans for UNFPA International Honoree from Cambodia

Sophanara guest blogs for Americans for UNFPA.

The International Award organized by Americans for UNFPA provides a great opportunity to the activists who work at the ground to improve the health and dignity for women by recognizing and acknowledging them globally. In addition to mobilizing resources, women-related issues have been consistently raised through this high-level advocacy effort and the people living in industrialized countries such as the U.S. citizens gain a better view on what happens to marginalized groups, especially women in developing communities. Also activists can share personal and work experiences on how they are challenged and how it can be frustrating when coping with these kinds of sensitive issues. Activists also explain how they contribute to improving the lives of suffered people in their own community.

In complement to advocacy efforts constantly used by UNFPA, it has been observed that the attention that media pays to women's issues was gained gradually. Today, women’s related issues including health, gender, and domestic violence and trafficking are frequently talked about in the media.

Given the active role of the Cambodian Women's Crisis Center (CWCC) in addressing women’s issues, in particular providing legal support to women the work is greatly appreciated by beneficiaries, stakeholders and donors. We have learned that Ms. Ket Noeun is a very committed, dedicated and devoted person in advocating women’s problems. Based on this Noeun was nominated and we believe she is role model as a strong advocate in her community. She was excited and energized once she learnt that her nomination was successfully awarded, hence her dedication has been rewarded. She hoped that her experiences from the grass root level would convince American’s people to have further support to Cambodia social development.

It was amazing that Noeun could witness and represent UNFPA support at the community level to members of Congress. As part of this, we believe that American government will be reconsidering political support to UNFPA’s roles and interventions globally.

At the same time, honoree felt that the fund provided by the UNFPA country office to support her work does not comprehensively respond to the needs of women.

As always, Noeun continuously carries out her efforts in advocating for women’s health by organizing debates, forums, events in the community and publicly and it has been captured steadily by media.

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