Poverty impacts women more severely than men

14:41, December 03, 2010      

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Representatives of women leadership from 22 countries have jointly voiced that poverty had impacted women more severely than men, according to a statement released Friday.

The statement was released following a special workshop on women politicians held in Cambodia's capital of Phnom Penh late Thursday at which they said lack of access to and control over resources, lack of opportunities and lack of mobility were serious issues which impacted women more severely.

The "Workshop on women as politicians" was held during the 6th General Assembly of International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), focused on the roles of women as politicians and young politicians in the areas of economy, energy and environment.

Ing Kantha Phavi, Cambodia's Minister of Women's Affairs said that Women were severely impacted because of lack of decision making power and that women in the formal sector such as services, manufacturing and lower rung positions were often subjected to " Last to be hired and first to be hired."

She said that women often did not have any job security, no maternity benefits, and no health benefits, no leave and pensions though women in the informal sector contributed substantively to the GDP.

Kantha Phavi said that it was therefore crucial that opportunities and alternative resources were made available for communities and to ensure than both women and men shared responsibilities towards sustaining the environment.

Meanwhile, Khuon Sudary, member of the Standing Committee of the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP), said that the global economic and financial crisis had put disproportionate burden on women.

"In fact, the gender issues in Asia have not attained increased prominence in the regional and international debates on sustainable energy, environment and economy."

Iris Indira Murti, Chairperson of International Cooperation Board of the Central Executive Board of Party of the Functional Groups of Indonesia, commented that since women worked two thirds of their normal working hours largely because of house hold chores and that they should be equal opportunities for both women and men in this globalized world.

"Women will be good in politics if politics were good to women, " she said and added that there should be concerted "Pro-women and pro-poor approach at policy making levels."

The session concluded with representatives from 22 countries issuing a joint declaration which reaffirmed the commitment of women to the objectives of the 6th General Assembly of International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) to promote exchanges and cooperation between political parties to enhance mutual understanding and trust among peoples and countries in the region.

The general theme adopted by most speakers was for Asian countries dire need to address the key issues to construct a road map for accelerating growth for a better tomorrow.

These included building on past achievements, quality education, bringing employment and Meso Economy to the center point, improving health services, ensuring pro-poor growth, strengthening local government, upgrading micro credit, focus on women's advancement, strengthening connectivity, improving technology by giving emphasis on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and bringing policy process into focus and addressing implementation.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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