Wednesday, 4.6.2008: Patriarchy Leads to Gender Inequality in Society

Posted on 4 June 2008. Filed under: Week 563 | Tags: , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 563

“Phnom Penh: The word ‘gender’ is still new for most people and most countries of the world. Different definitions of this word have been given, and they always change according to the times.

“Responding to this problem, Action Aid invited Ms. Kamla Bhasin, who is a well-known gender trainer from India, to talk to more than ten Khmer journalists from different newspapers and radio and television stations in Phnom Penh last weekend.

“Ms. Kamla Bhasin said ‘gender’ does not simply mean ‘equality between men and women.’ Society is the determinator, not nature, and sex is a biological factor. She added that ‘gender’ is not only a new word for Cambodia, but also in other countries of the world.

“Ms. Kamla Bhasin explained, ‘What determines the inequality of gender in society comes from adhering to patriarchy’ [What Is Patriarchy? by Kamla Bhasin]. She continued that patriarchy as a social system is not a recent phenomenon; it has been strengthened gradually since around 3,000 to 5,000 years ago.

“She went on to say that patriarchy [literally: ‘father-rule’] in the world has lasted more than 2,500 years, and it can hardly be changed, because of capitalism and the creation of institutions such as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and other strong institutions. These institutions do not allow any changes in patterns of social administration..

“There are many evidences showing that patriarchy leads to gender inequality. Fifteen years ago the International Labor Organization conducted studies on work inside and outside of the house and on agricultural work, and it found that two thirds of the work was done by women, but they got only one tenth of the income; and among all of the world’s property, only one percent was owned by women.

“Ms. Kamla Bhasin stressed, ‘Violation of girls and women happens also because the world upholds patriarchy, creating inequality in society. However, gender relations can always change according to the times.’ She continued. ‘Violation of women because of the inequality in society happen on different levels: in the heart, in feelings, and in the economy.’

“She added, ‘Gender talks about society, sex, and biology, which are defined by human society; humans can determine their biology, animals can not.

“Ms. Kamla Bhasin said, ‘Although societies based on patriarchy cause gender inequality affecting women, patriarchy also affects men, because not all men are strong.’

“In the field of the media, what is the situation of gender inequality, when a society upholds patriarchy? Does the press show patriarchal tendencies or not? The answer is that there probably must be such a tendency. According to research by the Women’s Media Center of Cambodia from 1996 to 1999 on 37 newspapers and 2 magazines, focusing on 3,083 articles, there were only 5% of all articles talking about women and focusing on poor and victimized women.

“The research found also that there were only 18 articles correctly talking about gender inequality, and only 4 articles showed noticeable positive actions of women in society. However, what is interesting is that 53% of news producers and presenters were women.

“It also showed that influential people in the field of the media, especially in Cambodia – most of the owners of the press, of newspapers, and also of radio and television stations – were men, also the major administrators. Most of the journalists were also men.

“Violations of women are part of the gender inequality in a society; but they are more serious in India than in Cambodia; it was found that in Indian society, 40% of married women are victimized by violations from their husbands, because of a variety of reasons.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4606, 4.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #113, 4.6.2008

  • Fuel Price is Riel 5,650 per Liter [premium gasoline]; [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Is Incompetent to Stop It
  • Kampuchea Krom Khmers Held the 59th Anniversary about France Cutting Their Land and Giving It to Yuon [Vietnam]
  • [Poipet immigration police chief] Pich Saran and His Partisans Extort More than Bath 1,000 [approximately US$31] per Citizen to Complete the Forms to Enter Thailand

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #71, 4-10. 6.2008

  • Mondolkiri: There Are Officials and Merchants behind Phnong Minority Tribespeople to Claim Land that the State Gave to the Khov Chily Company

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1658, 4.6.2008

  • Survey Results on the Use of Drugs and on the Creation of a National Level Intervention Plan Have Been Released
  • Wicked People and Merchants Stir up Citizens to Clear Forest to Own It [then buying it from the citizens at low prices] in Phnom Srok [Banteay Meanchey]
  • Storm Destroyed Twenty Seven Houses in Prey Chhor District [Kompong Cham – on 2 June 2008 – killing a man]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #25, 4-6.6.2008

  • The Cambodian Center for Human Rights Asked the Government to Discuss the Preah Vihear Temple Issue Publicly [2 May 2008]
  • Income from Tourism in Cambodia Will Increase to US$3,200 Million in 2015 [from US$1,400 million in 2007 – according to the Minster of Tourism Mr. Thong Khon]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4606, 4.6.2008

  • Thai Soldiers Prohibit Khmer Citizens to Do Rice Farming and to Build a House along the Border [they have claimed that the land has not yet been clearly marked]
  • Patriarchy Leads to Gender Inequality in Society
  • A Gifted Cambodian Student [from Sisowath High School] Won the Bronze Medal from the 20th Asian Pacific Mathematics Olympiad

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3325, 4.6.2008

  • The US Will Release the 2008 International Trafficking in Persons Report [at 10:00 a.m. of 4 June 2008 in the US Department of State Press Briefing Room]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #671, 4.6.2008

  • In Seventy Five Years [1932-2007], Thailand Had Eighteen Coups [three coups had failed and two resulted in bloodshed]

Have a look at last week’s editorial: Setting priorities – what to do to remove some dangerous obstacles, to get safer roads

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