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The Hope with UN Women

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Dear UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet and members of the UN Women Executive Board,

I am so honored and privileged to be allowed to present the issue in my country. I am also grateful and excited for your new post as an Executive Director UN Women, I am sure you will give hope to all women around the world.

I am from Cambodia, a student and a volunteer of Soroptimist International Phnom Penh NGO. Women and girls are the main focus for me to empower and help from my heart. The main concern that we are worrying today in Cambodia is Sex Trafficking that is caused from the poverty and non-education.

There is a proverb in Cambodia that asserts that men are like gold, women like a fresh white piece of linen. Even if gold is put in the fire, it remains ever the same. A white piece of linen, as soon as it has one blemish, is no longer of any use to anyone. The idea that girls and women are disposable commodities still prevails in Cambodian society, aggravated by the disproportionate value placed on virginity. Even if a girl is drugged and raped, her value as a desirable wife becomes practically nil. The victim is held responsible; her sense of shame and of having caused dishonor to the family is great.

Often, prostitution takes a covert form - it takes place not only in multiple brothels in Cambodia and in neighboring Thailand but also in massage parlors, karaokes and other outlets. Moreover, more and more women and girls are in demand in sex and other industries in Cambodia and Thailand. In the migration from rural to urban areas and across the border to Thailand, violation of rights occurs.

This, combined with a level of education that remains inadequate, means that many girls and young women face the continual danger of being sold or duped into the sex industry or making choices where no alternatives are available. Moreover, poverty, illiteracy, family problems, and gender discrimination provide fertile breeding grounds for vulnerabilities resulting in trafficking, exploitation, rape and abuse. It is the reason that the world is encouraging and empowering all girls to get education to avoid of these issues; anyways, the education in Cambodia is still limited for those people in poor rural areas and some parts of the Cities. Most of poor families are uneducated or only finish primary school.

In this point, I would love to ask help from the UN Women to recover our poor Cambodian people’s lives by providing us more education system, especially for those who live in rural areas, and helping us end gender discrimination by educating them both women and men to know about the gender and give value to each person life.

Thank you so much for your time on our letters! Wish you all the best!

Kind Regards,
Sarvina Kang
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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As the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women officially begins its work this month, World Pulse is asking women worldwide: What is YOUR vision and recommendation for UN Women? We invite you to raise your voice by writing a letter to UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet outlining your recommendation for how this new UN agency can truly affect change on the ground to promote gender equality and uphold the rights and needs of women both on a local and global scale.
Learn more: http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/programs/international-violence-agai...

Comments

usha kc's picture

Servina,

Servina,
I think this letter reflects the pathetic situation of the women/girls globally.
lets hope for the postive change!!

Sarvina's picture

Hi Usha, Hope you are fine

Hi Usha,

Hope you are fine dear! Wish you all the best for this New Year!

Thank you so much for reading my article and writing me a comment! It's awesome to get your comment. Of course it's occurred over the world and I hope this situation will be out of us women and poor people soon.

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

jadefrank's picture

Your voice is powerful!

Dearest Sarvina,

Your voice is strong - clear - powerful! Thank you for highlighting the very urgent issue of sex trafficking in Cambodia and Thailand, and calling upon the UN Women agency to include girls' education and a program to combat sex trafficking prominently in their agenda. Thank you for leading this campaign with your voice and your beautifully written letter, and we'll be sure that it gets to Michelle Bachelet and other senior members of UN Women.

Love,
Jade

Sarvina's picture

Dearest Jade, Thank you so

Dearest Jade,

Thank you so much for taking time to read and writing me a comment with the nice words! I am so happy to get to get it because all your comments and messages always encourage and inspire me. Cool! the Girls' Education and sex trafficking are the main concern for the world so these are so helpful for us around the world! Wish you all the best Jade!

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

Malcolm Arnold's picture

Sarvina

I spent 4 months in Cambodia in 2003 . I just fell in love with the country and it's people .Still have dear friends there . I hear your cry .It is powerful and your letter well deserving of action from those who can instigate the changes needed . trafficking for prostitution is a subject dear to myt heart .Indeed my wonderful wife was a victim at 14 of such an act . 16 years ago her daughters father left within 6 hours of his child's birth .WHY ???? because she was a girl child .His loss my gain as her n I now have a loving 'father' to daughter relationship .
keep up your strong voice . I am reminded of these words
" If you believe in something and believe in it long enough , THEN it WILL come into being "

bless you for your efforts to help others . Continue to be strong
ALL my best wishes Malcolm

Malcolm Arnold

Sarvina's picture

Hi Malcolm! Thank you so much

Hi Malcolm!

Thank you so much for taking time to read my article and writing me a comment! So excited to hear you ever stayed in Cambodia. I am sure that you know and understand clear about the sex trafficking in my country where esp. for girls who are from rural areas. They are less education or uneducated so it's a reason that they are easy to cheated to prostitution and some of them are trafficked to other countries and never come back to meet their family again. I feel so pity for them!

Congrats for your wonderful life with your wife and daughter! Forget the bad past but learn from it to recover new life! Her father has no responsibility to raise her up so pls take care her! Thanks again for falling in love with my country!!!

Regards,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

Malcolm Arnold's picture

Cambodia

Sarvina , I am taking care of her BUT I AM the one blessed because she and her mother are in my life .
yes , as it turned out I came to live in Bangladesh BUT I assure you if my destiny had not been to meet and marry my wife I would be living in Cambodia right now . I LOVE it that much . I even know where . It would be in a little fishing village on the edge of Tonle Sap about 30kms south of Siem Reap
When I was there I was looking more at orphanges and girl trafficking for sex did not emerge . I have become interested in this since meeting my wife . Now I am passionate about helping in my own small way .
I am a professional artist of some 34 yrs and was born in Australia .I am trying to put together an exhibition of crafts etc produced by girls who have been rescued from trafficking . I have people in India keen and one amazing lady in Nigeria , also very keen . Do you know of this type of work being done in cambodia . If we could make this exhibition from a variety of countries then hopefully we can raise awareness for the plight of these girls . I would love to hold it in Dubai or New York.It will take some time but am sure we can achieve it FOR the girls

Malcolm

Malcolm Arnold

Sarvina's picture

I am so glad for them. Yeah

I am so glad for them. Yeah they are your life and you are also their life. I'm bit confused with what you said...so I was wondering your wife was Cambodian? Oh you live in Siem Reap area, most Khmer people live by fishing along the Tonle Sap and I am sure that you have ever seen their lives there...really wonderful! I do love my Khmer's live, nature.

Yes many orphanages and the prostitutes, most of those girls are really not pleased to do but they have to force themselves to do it just because they need money to feed their family - parents, siblings, daughters & sons and many more. I have seen many prostitutes, I ever asked them about their lives - they cried and looked sad just becoz of they don't have education, live in poverty and are looked down from the rich people and it's only way that become a prostitute can earn more money. I feel so heartbreak when I talk to them coz I don't really know how to help them.

Do you know sister Olutosin? She is Nigerian - she's an amazing woman whom I have ever known. You might need to connect to her coz it's her career expert that related with her training and organization which aims to working on Prevention of child sexual abuse and violence against women. Yeah kind of this work has also been done by some NGOs such Somaly Mam Foundation which the aim is to end sex trafficking. Yet, I haven't involved with them in my country, anyways I really interest to do it one day with other friends. I wish you succeed with your exhibition soon!

Regards,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

Malcolm Arnold's picture

wife

NO my wife is Bangladeshi and I live Bangladesh .BUt if I NOT live Bangladesh I would live Cambodia
I do know Oltosin from Nigeria . I am hoping to get some things from her women to put in exhibition

Malcolm Arnold

Sarvina's picture

Hi Malcolm, Yeah I am clear

Hi Malcolm,

Yeah I am clear what you said now. Oh good I just see you have connected with sister Olu through Facebook too. Glad to hear that!

Regards,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

warona's picture

mmm,this is so touching

Dear Sarvina,

I pray to God the serenity to accept things i cannot change,the things i can and the wisdom to know things. I think all girl /women should be impowered.Women empowerment is all that can save our communities.Just imagine trafficking an illeterate 15year old girl its more like you are sentencing her to death unaware.You bluff her with this and that she agrees.A poor girl,poverty striken helpless as i see them in my community they will be easily taken away with the traffickers because of lack of food,clothes and money,shelter as well.They will always get convinced to accept such without any struggle.

Thank you Sarvina,this so powerful,you have alerted us dear.Education is power!

All the best

"success will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time " And when confronted conquer with love

Sarvina's picture

Dearest sister Warona! I am

Dearest sister Warona!

I am so happy to get your inspiring comment, thank you so much sister! Yeah I do pray god too with the things I cannot change and I hope one day the god will give me change it. It is the same in my country as most of prostitutes are from the rural areas where has no access to education so they wish to work in the city by trusting the traffickers to accompany them, unluckily, they are cheated from those traffickers and they will be sold to brothel or trafficked to the neighbor countries. It's hard to make a change without Education I think, so I wish women everywhere are able to get education and espeically for those women who live in poor families could be able to study. That's much I wish!

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

Deepti's picture

Well done, Sarvina!

Dear Sarvina,

This is such a beautifully written letter. You raised one of the most important terms of women violence - sex trafficking.

The one thing that saddens me is that women are often taken as a source of pleasure and as "commodities" as you mention. Not to mention, there are lots of cases where men (and sometimes women themselves) take benefit of the women's needs. Either giving money or showing fake love for a certain time, women become victims of sexual harrassment. And I totally agree with you that education is the fundamental need of women in today's world. We are getting education, so we together can be the change :)

With love and best wishes,
Deepti

Sarvina's picture

Dearest Deepti, Thanks so

Dearest Deepti,

Thanks so much my dear for your sweet words! I know that it's also like in your country where girls are not valued after she's raped or whatever even give a voice out but now every country that has this tradition is making a difference for their own countries. Me too, I was born in a poor family and people always look me down but I have to stand up to show them that I am strong to face them even I live in poor family and yes now I seem I have many friends around the world who are standing behind me and encourage me so I feel so warm.

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

Robin Farrin's picture

Education alone is not enough

Dear Dear Sarvina,
Your letter is so heart felt and so well written. It should get good attention.
The plight and struggle of the Cambodian women is so terrible. The inequality of gender is shameful. Through education we can do our best to raise boys to respect women and girls to respect themselves, however I see that education is not enough. Many educated men go to your country and take advantage of your stunningly beautiful women and girls. They need to be put on trial and held there until they make amends for their crime.
I feel a strict policy needs to be enforced in Cambodia and world wide; that any man taking advantage of young girls for the sake of their own sexual pleasure, must be dealt with in a manor that will cause other men to think twice before they consider abusing or taking advantage of a young girl or woman again and severe enough to discourage other men from even considering such an act.
I would love to see the victims pull together their own support group along with trained officials to deal with these terrible crimes. Both groups (the victims and the officials) would then be responsible to hold the men accountable through a trial and come up with a way for these men to pay back the family either through monetary means or through a beneficial service to the community or better yet make the perpetrator do both.
Throwing them in jail isn't enough they need to pay back what they have taken and the fines should be greater for taking a young girls virginity. Some of the the money should go towards creating a micro loan program to help get sex workers off the streets and to educate the girls and women.
Crimes against women need to be dealt with severely and we must raise our children to understand the great importance of respect for one another. Schools could help but it's not enough.
My heart goes out to all who suffer,
Robin Farrin

Sarvina's picture

Dear Robin, Thank you so much

Dear Robin,

Thank you so much for taking time to read my article and giving me such a wonderful idea! Yeah I do agree Education alone is not Enough. I also see some men who have high education but they come to harm the young girls in my country. As I ever have a friend who worked for that company and her boss was very bad - he always asked her to have an affair by giving her amount of money and I think this point is very bad that an educated man can do such as bad thing like that. Finally my friend resigned since she couldn't work with bad man like that.

I really love your idea to create a micro loan program to help get sex workers off the streets and to educate the girls and women. I do hope one day I can do it.

Thanks & Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

Robin Farrin's picture

Thank You too & Your so Welcome,

Dear Sarvina,

I am so happy your interested in the micro loan idea and stopping these acts which I see as terrorism. It is such a shame that your friend had to leave a job because of such harassment.
Writing you made me realize how strongly I feel about this issue as well and hope to some how be involved in creating a task force that can help to protect & support individuals from the terror of sexual violence.

All the very best to you,
Robin Farrin
www.farrinphotography.com

Sarvina's picture

Dear Robin, Yeah it's what I

Dear Robin,

Yeah it's what I have thought to do and I do hope one day I can do it. Of course it's a shame that she had to quit her work. Your letter also made me stronger!!

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

Robin Farrin's picture

Yes, Strength we need

We must continue to pass around support and strength to do this difficult work.
Love & Strength to you,
Robin

Robin Farrin's picture

Yes, Strength we need

We must continue to pass around support and strength to do this difficult work.
Love & Strength to you,
Robin

Sarvina's picture

Thank you so much for your

Thank you so much for your encouragement! You too:)

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

Dear Robin,
I really like your idea of the need of policies, throwing the violaters in the jail and making them pay fines. And for sure, education is not the only way we could deal with women violence. Education is probably the beginning and probably the most important step to end this violence. However, when we are talking such big things like policies, I am afraid we are missing the grassroots level women who do not know what is going on with the government policies, what they have the right to do and what not; they might not even know where to report the rape cases or such violent acts. The victims are mostly from the poor and what we call an "uneducated" family. My point is that if a man knows the policies of going to jail and paying fines and the woman (here the victims) does not know about the policies where to report, that does not make any difference in the violent act of men. The man will not be afraid of conducting crimes towards the poor and the ones who are unaware of the policies.
What I think is that there is this set-up mind in the new-born child in the 21st century that women are inferior and they are "commodities" or a source of (sexual) pleasure. For me, it is necessity that these mind should be refreshed and the concept of gender equality should be imposed. The only thing I can think to do so is through education and awareness.

Best,
Deepti

Sarvina's picture

Hi Deepti, Pls read Robin's

Hi Deepti,

Pls read Robin's response back to you below.

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

Deepti's picture

Thank you

Thank you, Sarvina. You are so caring!

Love,
Deepti

Sarvina's picture

My pleasure Deepti! Have a

My pleasure Deepti! Have a nice weekend!

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

Robin Farrin's picture

Awareness

Dear Deepti,
I so agree with you about teaching awareness of rights and respect, which I believe needs to be instilled over and over when a child is young and continue as they grow to become confident human beings. I see it as important as teaching a child to read. Boys should never behave in a way that is superior to girls and girls need to constantly be encouraged how capable and strong that they are.
As far as policies go, there are strict ones here in the US but women, young girls and even young boys are still being abused and raped and many don't report it because they too don't know who to turn to or feel safe doing so.
I envision a world wide task force created by the UN or some other capable organization that would train officers most of which should be women whose job would be to walk the streets go through the brothels and be visible and ready to protect any one that is being violated against their wishes. These officers need to be trained well and capable to know how to comfort and support victims as well as get back up to handle the perpetrator.
I know it is a lot to design and implement but I pray that some day the world will be done with wars on terror and can focus on designing a task force for protecting the terror right in our own neighborhoods and begin to protect and prevent us from sexual terror.

Deepti's picture

Hi Robin, Yes, that's a big

Hi Robin,

Yes, that's a big work and it takes time in implementation; changes do not happen in one day. I imagine how fantastic that would be when women in brothels get someone who is there to protect them. And I too pray with you that the world will start looking women as human.

Cheers!
Deepti

Dearest Sarvina:
It has been one of the most beautiful and moving letter on the Sex Trafficking ever in my life time, I have read it. It is the most controversial issue in most of countries around the world. However, I believe that UN Women have heard your voice and they will reach to your hope.
Thanks
Best of luck and bests,loves for you
Parwana FAYYAZ

Sarvina's picture

Dear Parwana, Thank you so

Dear Parwana,

Thank you so much for taking time to read my piece and writing me a beautiful comment! It is an issue that most countries around the world is concerning about and I hope one day everywhere through the world will have no more sex trafficking. Yeah I do believe UN Women will help and complete our hope. Wish you a very best of luck of this New Year 2011!

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

vivian's picture

nice work with beautiful comments

Hello Sarvina, I have been very busy this month that I spend less time on world pulse. I have taken time today to read your letter to the UN women on child trafficking and the comments from friends. I may say that child trafficking is a very vital issue that has long been in existence but have been difficult to curb those involve. You have done well to speak out about this issue that is a real concern to women and even men. You have presented you voice well ane am sure you will be heard.

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Sarvina's picture

Hello sister Vivian! I

Hello sister Vivian! I see...that's a reason I haven't seen you a few weeks. Yes child trafficking is a big issue for the world and I also hope it will be solved one day. I am so happy to get your comment, thanks so much sister for always encouraging me!

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

Ruun Abdi's picture

Deares Sarvina, Thanks for

Deares Sarvina,

Thanks for writing such a powerful letter. let me say Your voice is so powerful. Education is everything and when someone is educated they know what they are doing. I am sure when this letter reaches the UN Women they will put in their agendas and do something about it.

Peace and love,
RA

Sarvina's picture

Dearest Ruun, Many thanks for

Dearest Ruun,

Many thanks for always encouraging me! I have learned from you how to be stronger. Yes education is important - for real thing if I had no education or even knew English, I wouldn't have met you and others on PulseWire and became a correspondent so everything is a proof that Education is precious to bring our lives better.

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

Ruun Abdi's picture

Swirry that is what friends

Swirry that is what friends for and am so lucky that i met you cuz you always inspire me and everytime i read from you i feel more encouraged then before. You are strong sweet girls and i always admire you.

Education is everything. I dont really know how to do it but i would love to see at least 40% of girls in each school, i had this dream for my whole life and sooner or later i am sure it will come even if am no longer in this world.

Peace and love,
RA

Sarvina's picture

Hey many thanks for your

Hey many thanks for your sweet words again! I do love you. So we have learned from each other:)

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

even developing country women has willing to learen they are problemes to upgrade education the problems are financial. So aid by distance program or others aid. In our country Ethiopia the number of girls student increase in each school. But in higher school the number of girle students decrease by differnt problems. the main problems are financial.

Sarvina's picture

I do agree with you!

Hi Yera,

Thank you so much for taking to read my letter and writing me such as a wonderful comment! Yeah Financial is the main focus too for my country, we have no education coz of lacking of financial. It is important and wonderful if we get fund from the others to support Cambodia poor rural areas to get education. That is why I am writing to seek help from the UN Women to provide us with more education system for the poor areas in Cambodia.

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

Liz4peace's picture

Great letter!

Hi Sarvina,

Excellent letter to the UN. It hits the same points as your assignment - the linkage among poverty, lack of education and exploitation. Way to go!

Big hug!

Liz

Sarvina's picture

Dearest Liz, Thank you so

Dearest Liz,

Thank you so much for giving me ideas! Yeah I do also include it in my assignment.

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

Dear Sarvina,

You have spoken on behalf of many women. Thank you for using your voice.

Best wishes
Fungai

from today i live out of my imagination
i am more than my yesterday
tomorrow i plant a new seed
nothing that lies behind easy
nothing that is ahead real
my within is all i have today
*Napo Masheane*

Sarvina's picture

Hi Fungai, Thanks so much for

Hi Fungai,

Thanks so much for writing me a comment! Yeah it is the story for many women.

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

juliapp's picture

Sarvina, Thank you for your

Sarvina,
Thank you for your powerful and beautiful words. Keep it up! The world must hear from you.
Julia

Sarvina's picture

Dear Julia, Thanks so much

Dear Julia,

Thanks so much for your inspiring comment! It means too much for me.

Love,

Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

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