Journey that never ends

Journey that never ends
Sapa trekking

Thursday, March 9, 2017

International Women's Day -

The day before​​ March 8, in my evening's scrolling through the facebook news feed, i cam across a post by a well-known social commentator. In his post, he compared female sex workers (out of all profession) who sells her body to the politician who sell their bodies and mind... His comparison came at a time of a political sensitive climate - but the choice of female sex workers came a day before the world celebrated the 106th anniversary of International Women's Day! The comparison toned discriminatory, and ignited a wave of reaction among the female friends that I privately share the post.

"If you want to celebrate tomorrow as International Women Day and you really mean it, talk about equal payment to the same job done by men or women; talk about equal right before laws; talk about how you will respect choices make by women, men, LGBTIQ; I have had enough to hearing the propaganda of roses and free from cooking or housework for one day. Welcome to 2017!"

The evening of IWD went through a terrible jam at the BKK area. As we left and aimed to get through the crowd to get ourselves a drink and to hear some songs, the lines of vehicles and motorbike in front of us does not inspire us to move through. So three of us decided to turn around, when one round, second round in the hope to fine a place to get some drinks and some space for ourselves. We ended up in a place called URBAN. I myself felt so rural entering the Urban place. We were told there was no spare table left, there are only seats at the counter. Okay we will take that! As we fully entered the place, we screened around and it confirmed two things to me: a. I felt rural and b. I feel old among all the young, hippy Cambodian boys and girls. They are generally in their late teen, early 20s, drinking, eating and chatting eerily among the loud music of the mostly Thai songs.

As we got our food and drink ordered, we collectively agreed with one another than we have been rather out of date about night out. but it does not inspire that we should come out more. It just confirmed us that there is no underestimation of the way of outing for the Cambodian people -  at all age group - during their public holiday.

But the main part of my day was not about the evening outing. Of course it was the best way to end the day but 2h before that... I sat among some hundred audience in a small theatre to watch five different kind of episodes about the reality of life in contemporary Cambodia:

1st  for people who are gay, the vital social type of support they needs is the support from family. Family support is compared to the screen that covered every aspect of your body. If you don't have it somewhere, it makes the areas susceptible to contracting disease or vulnerable to weather changes and so on.

2nd  women working in the entertainment services are equally important, deserves respective and dignity and a good life just like everyone else. No one wants to be looked down upon. No one wants to be forced to do thing against their will. Respect women's Right - Respect Women's Choice.

3rd  If women truly the back-bone of the economy of Cambodia - such as the women in the garment and textile industry in the country - then they need to be paid decent living wage; they need to live in a clean and safe environment free from abuse, harassment and any form of violence. They need to be recognised as women, as worker.

4th  woman just like everyone else could realise their dream and make it come true no matter how long it will take. it might take a year, ten year, one generation or three generation - as the author of the book PROPER WOMAN narrates to us her journey of writing the book. There is no stopping your big dream

5th  If you have the skill, talent, motivation, leadership and determination to pursue your goal, you can DIVE DEEP AND GO FAR. women's need the space to be nurtured and grow. The exciting thing is that the space is created and being nurtured with mentoring support available. Woman co-author spoke about the passion she has for the upcoming book and hope that the income generate from the book sale will go to create more opportunity and leadership space for women to grow in society.

And the night cannot be completed without inspiring songs from the Messenger Band - whose choices of songs for the night move the audience to oh and ah, cheer and chat, sing together and demand for more.

And Yes!
We need to sing together and demand for more
Because that is exactly what women in the previous generation struggle for the entitlement we are enjoying today
And we the women of this generation
Need to Be Bold for Change!

If you read this and feel like, oh how come i miss the event like this, don't worry too much. I hope that the organiser will put out such event more often so that it promote the culture of sharing about different path women choose and why they choose to do thing they do. But if the organisers don't do it, we shall not wait but put one out ourselves.

Be Bold to Take the First Step to Change!

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