Promoting Community’s Role Models

Rural high-school girl students from three provinces of Cambodia - Thbong Khmum, Rattanakiri and Siem Reap - have been selected to take over their dream roles of being police officer, school principal and director of health centres in their respective communities.

After their takeovers, between 2 to 4 days, were concluded in November; the six girls are preparing their career planning through the support from the local authorities and Plan International Cambodia to achieve the dream roles.

"We have selected two outstanding girls with clear future dreams for this pilot year. Two each from three provinces. The initiative allowed them to experience actual works to get inspired. The current steps are to support them drawing up their plans for the next one, four and ten years to achieve the dreams," said gender expert Ms. Aum Borany.

Chann Deth, 16, lives in Ponhea Krek district of Thbong Khmum province. Successful graduation from high school this year contributes significantly to realising the dream of becoming a director of a health centre in her home province.

"I think only girls can know what girls want. The two-day work at the health centre was very good. I want to thank the director of the health centre again for his kind teaching," said Chann Deth

She continued, "I observe that many women don't go to the health centre because they are afraid they will be checked up by male health staff. I dream to be a head of a health centre so that I can ensure that female patients are served by female health staff. I am so glad with planning I have just developed. It guides me on what to do and when."

"A number of girls in my community is quitting school to get married, migrate to other places to hunt jobs, or help with household farming activities. If I can become a school principal, I will try to address this," said 17-year-old Srey Rath from the same province who has also just graduated high school this year and developed her plan.

The so-called GirlsTakeover initiative is strongly supported by concerned authorities and well aligned with the commitment of the Royal Government of Cambodia to promote more girls in leadership roles.

H.E. Tes Chan Saroeun, Women's Affairs Under Secretary of State, expressed her support: "I support girls of younger generations to live up to their dream to achieve a role in society, especially the decision making role."

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press