Tag Archives: United States visit

National Democratic Institute Presentation and Collaborating with Egyptian Women

Cambodian parliamentarian and human rights leader Mu Sochua met with government officials, international leaders, and other activists in Washington, DC to discuss women’s rights and empowerment. At the National Democratic Institute, Sochua gave a presentation on building a women’s movement in Cambodia and shared stories of women candidates in villages and communes throughout the country. In preparation for the 2012 elections in Cambodia, Sochua offered strategies for how to “win with women” that included practical and effective messaging campaigns, funding needs and networking. She called on NDI, USAID and other American agencies and organizations to assist the people’s and youth movement in Cambodia with financial and moral support.

One of the central topics of conversation among the delegations present, NDI staff, and government officials was identifying ways to inspire women and young people to participate in politics. Sochua described in detail the scope of domestic violence, government oppression and life-threatening challenges that face potential women candidates. However, more and more women participate in politics each other and register their names as candidates for office. The Sam Rainsy Party offers training for women candidates in group sessions. Attendees at the presentation were surprised to discover that training 50 women candidates cost a mere $200.

Following her presentation, Sochua video conferenced with women leaders of the opposition movement in Egypt. She listened to their stories and message, and proceeded to exchange lessons from her own experience in politics. Sochua also cautioned them to think carefully about how to craft their message and to limit their anger. Such anger will become a label and a handicap, she said. They also discussed the opportunities of technology to produce new relationships and cover the stories that need to be heard.

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Vital Voices Supporting Global Leaders at Tribute and Retreat

Vital Voices Global Leader Mu Sochua is in Washington, DC with an invitation-only group of women parliamentarians, businesswomen, leaders and activists for the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network Retreat. Hailing from every region of the world, the women gathered at the retreat are sharing best practices, stories and networks to celebrate the success of women in all spheres. “Vital Voices has tremendous resources to connect people and help women collectively take action,” said one attendee. “The protection of women against violence is not just a Russian issue, but it is also a global issue,” added another.

Vital Voices Supporting Global Leaders at Tribute and Retreat

Vital Voices is co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who met with Sochua and the other Vital Voices Global Leaders at Vital Voices’ award 10th Anniversary of the Global Leadership Award, at the Kennedy Center on 12 April, 2011. The event was attended by 2,400 people. Other presenters included United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer, American news personalities Tina Brown, Wolf Blitzer, Michele Norris, and Cokie Roberts, and other public figures. “It is an honor to be part of this incredible group of women. Vital Voices continues to give us access and opportunity,” said Sochua.

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MP, Mu Sochua is in Washington this week to meet with US officials and civil society to raise human rights issues in Cambodia.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Well Aware of Human Rigths Abuse in Cambodia

 Mu Sochua met and congratulated Secretray Clinton for the US State Department 2010 Report on Human Rights in Cambodia that reveals a worrying trend of systematic abuses and violations of human rights. “The Cambodian government seems to be determined” says Sec. Clinton when referring to these abuses and violations.

Talking to the Obama Administration

Former Cambodian Minister of Women’s Affairs Mu Sochua met with a senior U.S. official this morning at a gathering of international women leaders in Washington, DC. She asked Under-Secretary for Public Diplomacy Judith McHale how the U.S. nurtures grassroots movements, especially in reaction to the revolutions in the Middle East. Under-Secretary McHale said, “I took this job because I felt our government was not communicating to people in the marketplace. The world has changed and people have an expectation to be part of the dialogue.” She added that the U.S. government was using new social media, especially Twitter, to understand what issues are most important to people on the ground.

“We have to strengthen those ties. Before, if you were not part of the economic or political life of your country, we would miss you. But now we are listening and we are learning. We have to have a conversation with people at every level of society.” The Vital Voices Global Leadership Network Retreat gathers women parliamentarians, activists and leaders from countries all around the world for a two day retreat to share ideas, stories and strategies towards the promotion of women and their rights.

Meeting with Under-Secretary McHale

Speaking privately with Under-Secretary McHale, Sochua expressed the dissatisfaction of many Cambodians with their lives. She emphasized the struggles of farmers, union workers, and trade workers. She urged the Under-Secretary to continue her efforts to engage with the people’s movement on the ground.

AmmazingSeries.com- Mu Sochua Video

Posted on December 08, 2010 on http://www.ammazingseries.com

Mu Sochua met with Amma from Ammazingseries.com to speak about her recent talk at The World in 2011 Forum hosted by The Economist. It was a three day event that focuses on different global issues, as well as solutions to those issues. 

Sochua explains why she became a politician and the many issues that face women in Cambodia today including: land grabbing, poverty, gender-based violence, and lack of education. 

Women must be empowered. The entire society must want change. 

“Everyday is a challenge. The women workers must be with me. The victims of domestic violence must be with me. In all the movements for change, are the women with me? We must not be the voice FOR the women but the voice WITH the women.”

World in 2011: A Day of Discussion in New York

December 05, 2010. Elizabeth Tam. NY Business Events Examiner

Full examiner.com article here.

December 4, 2010 marked the third day of the Economist’s World in 2011 Festival in New York.  The day included a series of speakers and panels on various issues that may shape the future of 2011.

Panel on Women’s Economic Opportunity

Alyse Nelson (President and CEO of Vital Vibes) very eloquently introduced the first panel of speakers, including Leo Abruzzese (Editorial Director North America; Director Americas, Country, and Economic Research of The Economist Intelligence Unit)Zainab Salbi (Founder and CEO of Women for women International)Mu Sochua (Member of the Cambodia Parliament) and Kah Walla (Director of Strategies S.A. and Presidential candidate of Cameroon), who discussed the issue of Women’s Economic Opportunity.  Nelson explained how women and girls are underutilized and how the world needs to utilize all of their resources and potential, both men and women.

Leo Abruzzese started the panel presenting a study conducted on the economic opportunity of women, highlighting countries’ ranking on how they compared on this topic.  Out of 113 countries, Sweden, Belgium and Norway ranked at the top of the list, Chad, Yemen and Sudan at the bottom, and the United States ranked #15.  The United States was ranked #15 due to the fact that the United States does not sign international treaties to protect women’s rights and does not have mandatory maternity leave.  The report concluded the driving factors of economic opportunity to be based on four items: 1-Labor Laws and Practice, 2-Access to Finance, 3-Education and Training, 4-Legal and Social Status.  Three important issues that need to be addressed are the issues of: 1-Maternity Leave, in which the US is one of 2 countries that do not have paid mandatory maternity leave and benefits, and will be the only country next month; 2 – Equal pay for equal word, there is good legislation, however this is not being enforce; 3 – Violence Against Women, women exposed to violence earn 50% less than those who are not.

Mu Sochua spoke on the importance of not just making predictions, but how to make it work and the necessity to break issues down to the micro level, using the “she economy,” i.e.She is in…, her, economy.  Women need to justice and people need to make a commitment.  Zainab Salbi made a few predictions for the future, revolving around the notion women are the solution; women make up 80% of the work force, 60% of the food in the world, but only own 2% of the land.  She believes that the two main actions that need to be made to achieve this are to: 1-private sector engagement, and 2-to start portraying women as good borrowers, this will not be an easy or cheap process.  Kah Wallah discussed three important issues that need to be addressed in 2011: 1-countries need to make a commitment as most of the growth is in developing countries, not the developed countries; 2-corporate level partners, companies have the opportunity to make a conscious effort as there needs to be more women in high level positions, and 3-this notion needs to be taken to global discourse and needs be discussed with the G-20.  The opportunities are there, countries just need to commit.

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Mu Sochua, Comes to Staples

Article written by Kate McNee for Inklings High School Newspaper, on Sochua’s recent visit to Staples High School, CT.  Full article here.

A feeling of awe circled the room as Mu Sochua, an accomplished human rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and Cambodian Parliament member stepped in front of the class.

As she began her presentation, she did not list her accomplishments, nor did she instruct the students on how to help her cause. Instead, she laughed heartily and in her native language said, “You guys are probably going to say what?” Soon the whole group was laughing.

On Nov. 18, during periods 7 and 8, Sochua spoke about the issue of sex-exploitation, and promoted the documentary “Redlight.” The presentation was sponsored by the group Teen Vital Voices, a club founded by Alexis Teixeira ’13. The club, which is an extension of the nonprofit organization Vital Voices, focuses on female empowerment.

Sochua led an interactive presentation, where she spoke in an intimate classroom setting. She challenged students to imagine their lives as Cambodian citizens, particularly as women who often don’t receive any education, make less than two dollars a day, or are forced into sex-exploitation at as young as 8-years-old.

Though she is native of Cambodia, and explained many of the specific issues that have plagued the country, such as the Camboidan killing fields, she also stressed that the issue of sex-trafficking is not just within her own country.

“It’s a global issue, that’s why I’m here,” Sochua said.

Her main point in presenting was to promote awareness of this tragic and little known issue, and to encourage young adults like Staples students to help. As Teen Vital Voices aims to do, she hopes that young people know that they can make a difference.

“All in all, students were interested and many who heard her speak learned something new and were really moved by her story,” said Teixeira.

Mu Sochua on The Brian Lehrer Show WNYC

Listen to the entire Radio Show here.

Mu Sochuahuman rights activist and opposition member of the Cambodian parliament discussed the new documentary “RedLight,” which examines child prostitution and other human rights abuses in southeast Asia.