Drink coffee. Talk politics. Blog opinions


Toward Gender Equality: What You Need to Understand

Written by: Tea Sovanmony, a 3rd year student majoring in Global Affairs at The American University of Phnom Penh

Edited by: Sao Phal Niseiy, Editor-in-Chief at The Cambodianess and Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Thmey Thmey News

(Photo Credit: "Equality" by @bastique is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)


“Feminism is not about making women strong. Women are already strong. It is about changing the way the world perceives that strength,” said G.D. Anderson, an Australian feminist writer and founder of an Australian charity called the Cova project. Although men and women have been labor-power sellers in the economy, women mostly have faced underrepresentation and unequal treatment. Within this fact also, the origin of inequality has been derived from the historical evidence and social norms that still exist today. Therefore, in achieving an equitable society, men should also participate in bringing forward women's empowerment.  

According to Women and Household Labour in Marxism Feminism society, people labelled women as a working-class driven by capitalism theory. As producers in a capitalist society, women have been judged based on their production outcome, which is lesser than men. The works carried out by women have been inadequately represented, unequally paid, and generally exploited. 

Domestic labor such as housework is unpaid, and it has unfairly indicated a pure use-value because of the working scale within the family, not within the market. It is also uneven that men do not take women's endless tiredness, tears, sweat, and pressure from the housework into account. Noticeably, a home will not be clean or under orderly management without a wife. Thus, a better home environment for men who return from work will also not happen without women. 

Considering the social norms that have prevented ladies from flourishing for many generations, the natural classification between gender does not indicate that men are a strong character who is indispensable to head the family, having more authority and domination over women. Beyond that, the idea of feminism and gender equality can be a platform that embodies respect for men and women in performing their roles equally within the family. Moreover, it is critical to help women improve literacy, give them more space in society, and eliminate gender discrimination. In the meantime, women should receive more opportunities to express themselves and make decisions at both the private and state levels more confidently.

It is also crucial that men can have a proper understanding of the gender equality concept, which does not refer to women who are as strong as men and can take over men's positions in the workplace or require men to do the house chores. Soon after the preponderance of gentlemen understands and gets involved in tackling the gender issue, there will be a more conducive condition for women to develop their capabilities and unlock their potentials, which have long been curbed by out-dated cultural norms. An equal society will bring about gender equality in which men and women play roles as human capitals to buttress social, political, and economic development. The world will be more equitable in terms of wages and participation in decision-making for an equitably effective outcome. 

Being daughters in Cambodian society, we are now exhausted and believe that there should be a change to the gender inequality issue. I think men should advocate and contribute to this change by participating in interpreting the concept of gender equality in a more equitable manner. Meanwhile, they also have to work on eliminating the tension between men and women. Trying to end any forms of oppression against women is also what men can do. Once gender equality is better, a daughter can live in a world that she has envisioned. A world where women and men can have a sexual relation, supporting one another performing family tasks, cordial family relations, and psychological support such as inspiring one another. 

Overall, gender equality is a modern concept that can be applied differently based on different circumstances. As some men still get confused that gender equality is about making men less powerful, which can disrupt their roles, this writing demonstrates and encourages men to join hands to work toward gender equality. This action will eventually eliminate the tension between genders and pressure on women over the decades. Also, the purpose of creating a gender-equitable society is to support our daughters' generation, who will be free from being treated unequally and inadequately represented. Together, we can achieve this.


*This blog is produced with the financial support from the European Union and The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency through Transparency International Cambodia and ActionAid Cambodia. Its contents do not reflect the views of any donors.