February 23, 2012
photograph by Cattleya Jaruthavee
On February 28 to March 1, 2012 Cambodian Member of Parliament Mu Sochua will act as a Global Ambassador for the launch of the Vital Voices and Bank of America global mentoring program “The Global Ambassador’s Program” in Pétion-Ville, Haiti. The program seeks to resolve the women’s leadership gap by connecting the expertise of the world’s top women from business, media, government and civil society to outstanding emerging local women leaders. The 2012 program’s Global Ambassadors include: American actress and activist Maria Bello; Minister of Agriculture in the Republic of Liberia, Dr. Florence Chenoweth; a Marketing Executive at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch; and Constance Morella, the former United States Government Ambassador to the OECD.
Haitian women’s voices are barely present in the country’s social and economic decision making processes. Currently, women make up less than 3% of Haiti’s Parliament. As a result, throughout the course of the past few months, Haitian women’s organizations have hosted 308 focus groups for women across the country to identify and develop policy platforms regarding key issues affecting Haitian women. The Global Ambassador’s Program will provide a space for local leaders to meet, consult, and develop their policy platforms under the mentorship of the Global Ambassadors.
During the program, Haitian women leaders will draft a set of policy priorities based on the issues identified by Haitian women across the country. Each Global Ambassador, including MP Mu Sochua, will mentor two extraordinary Haitian women leaders as they lead this consultative process to produce a National Women’s Platform. On March 1, the National Women’s Platform will be presented to President Michel Martelly to ensure the acknowledged policy priorities are accounted for in the next legislative cycle.
For more information regarding The Global Ambassador’s Program and Global Ambassador MP Mu Sochua, visit: sochua.wordpress.com.
Chea Vichea's daughter was only a toddler when he was assassinated in 2004. (Photo from the film WHO KILLED CHEA VICHEA? © 2010 Loud Mouth Films)
Chea Vichea not only led the workers’ movement of Cambodia, he challenged all those in politics in a country that came out of genocide and continues to be governed by one strong man. Chea Vichea accepted nothing less for the workers than their fundamental rights for respect and their right for dignity.
This year will mark the 8th year of Chea Vichea’s assassination and yet the killers are still free. Cambodians officially may not know the real killers but we have a very clear idea who gave the order.
The real killers will be found the day Cambodia is governed with rule of law.
Remembering 22 January, 2004 keeps the hope for us that justice is real and not just right but an absolute element of freedom.
The Chea Vichea Fund for Workers’ Rights
Chea Mony 012 941 308
Roung Choun: 012 930 706
Hear the cry for justice. Take action and do not watch passively.
Write to your local and national politicians about these abuses.
Cambodia is hosting ASEAN . President Obama and Sec. Clinton are expected to attend. We need to tell each story of abuse, in particular of women’s human rights violations as Sec. Clinton is a champion of women’s human rights.
USA should not just think about a strategic presence in ASEAN. USA, like any other country that preach human rights, must come with a very clear message:
Free and fair elections for true and not facade of democracy.
A scene of immense suffering in front of the Court of Phnom Penh. The victims of Beung Kak lake land concession to a senator of the ruling party cry out for justice. Six have been summoned by the court for defamation, threat and insult. Threat carries a sentence of 6months to 1 year.
I spoke to them the previous day. They are determined to fight till the very end.
I shared with them my 15 months fight with the Cambodian justice system.
They know what is awaiting them but what else is left but to face the Court.
The show of force and courage of the people in front of the Court of Phnom Penh was too much pressure for the prosecutor. The questioning by the Court had to be postponed. The people vowed to return in bigger number.
Mu Sochua, MP
“I do not fear death; I fear political silence against injustices”
-Malalai Joya, MP Afghanistan
Donate to Mu Sochua’s Justice Fund
Building democracy with women is not just smart, it is fair and just. Building democracy is one step at a time and along the way there are moments of full fulfillment and moments of despair.
Along this work in progress of building democracy, I have come across powerful women – they are powerful because of their deep sense of worth and value.
At this moment in time, I am preparing a new team of young and very dynamic young women who are the future of Cambodia.
Proud to be a member of the opposition as it teaches me about values.
I have cried a river along the way and watching my people cross this rapid river to tend their land every day fills my heart with stronger determination that one day, we shall overcome.
When standing there to watch the women and the disabled man cross the river, tears came from the deep wholes in my heart.
I could not cross that river, that day.