Even a Bird Needs a Nest
vrijdag 22 maart 2013 - 19:15
Q&A with Tep Vanny, Mu Sochua and directors Christine Chansou and Vincent Trintignant-Corneau, led by Gea Wijers.
Tep Vanny is a 31-year old mother of two. Coming from a poor family in Kampot, life looked promising when her parents-in-law bought her a piece of land in the capital, near schools and hospitals. Her existence changed abruptly when bulldozers arrived, destroying the livelihoods of her community. Now her days are dedicated to fighting against eviction. “I do this for my children. I want them to finish school in Phnom Penh, so my daughter can become a doctor and my son a lawyer.” Even after five detentions, she says: “I feel no fear in my body.”
Mu Sochua (born May 15, 1954) is an elected Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) opposition member of the Cambodian parliament and a mother of three children. In 2005, she received the Leadership Award in Washington, DC, from the Vital Voices Foundation, co-founded by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. In 2002 she mobilized 12,000 women candidates to run for commune elections, with over 900 women winning and still actively promoting the women's agenda at the grass-roots level. In that same year she helped create and pass the Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill, which imposes severe penalties on marital rape and abuse of minors. Her work in Cambodia also includes campaigns with men to end domestic violence and the spread of HIV/AIDS; working for the rights of female entrepreneurs; working for labor laws that provide fair wages and safe working conditions for female workers; and working for the development of communities for squatters with schools, health centers, sanitation, and employment.
After spending two years in Cambodia as a strategy- and management advisor to the Ministry of Environment, Gea Wijers (1972) is now working on her PhD research inquiring into Cambodian returnees as institutional entrepreneurs. She is part of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’ Centre for Comparative Social Science (CCSS). Her research is part of an integrated programme entitled: “Competing hegemons. Foreign dominated processes of development in Cambodia” funded by the Netherlands Organization for Social Research’ (NWO) Science for Global Development department (WOTRO). This programme’s strategy is based on the practice of building capacity in Cambodian higher education in a partnership between the Faculty of Social Sciences of the VU University Amsterdam and the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), Cambodia.