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Women with Her Confidence

Being born in one of the Southeast Asian countries, Cambodia, I have inevitably experienced and witnessed gender inequality existed since the past and firmly embedded in our traditions and cultures. To be honest, I considered myself as lucky that I had very supportive parents. I was mentored well my term concerning education, and they sent me to school and encouraged me undoubtedly from kindergarten to college. When my mother got really sick and passed away of cancer a year ago, I, for the first time, was challenged in term of education. I was told to quit my college temporarily to take care of my mother and later to take care of my family since I am the oldest daughter. And again, I was blessed to have the most supportive father. He acted as a shield to protect me from those challenges, and here I am, still in college pursuing my degree.

What I want to reflect here based on my experience is family’s support is one of the most important elements that can steer girls’ lives in my community. Where I live, children are supposed to live with their families and not allowed to move out until they get married, especially girls. Therefore, I think the greatest challenge girls confront in my community in order to access education is lack of family’s support. I know there are many challenges out there too, and people must have questioned me regarding poverty as the challenge that might be greater than the one I just raised. However, from what I’ve seen, some girls are discouraged by their families to further their studies even though some of them were born rich families.

Considered lacking of family’s support is one of the biggest barriers, there are still other challenging barriers in my community that prevent young women from accessing education. Visibly, cultural biases are one of the barriers. Like I mentioned earlier, Cambodia has the default cultural biases since the past and it turned out to be not fair for women. Women are expected to stay home and do good housework when they are single, and to be good and loyal housewives once they’re married. People says “women don’t have to study much for they will be raised (or in more polite word: supported) by their husbands”. This concept has been practiced for hundreds of year and it still exists today. Because of such biases, lack of respect of women emerges automatically. So, women follow what they were told: “no need to study, your husband will support you.” Consequently, once a family come to an argument, it’s woman who was blamed by her husband. She was blamed of not going to work and staying home doing nothing. Woman has never been valued by countless amount of housework she does. All of these problems make women become lack of confidence. For some, they strive to gain it back, and some don’t, sadly.

Though I was not challenged much by these barriers compared to many women out there, I experienced some impacts. As I already said, it was my relatives (some) who still don’t value my studying effort and keep saying I should only learn how to be a good housewife (I do want to be a good housewife, but to become one, I need to be educated, right?). I overcame this impact by protect my point of view and of course, with my father’s support.

In a nutshell, what I am trying to say here is confidence is a crucial component for us, women, to fight for our futures and create our own destinies. It has to be planted and showered from the inside. Most importantly, it is worth noting that being confidence is different from being over pride. Once women have strong confidence to fight for their stands, they will be able to overcome most of the barriers such as cultural biases and lack of respects on us! However, as I repeat again and again, support from family is still very important for women. In order to get such support, we, women need to be able to explain them of why we need their supports. As for economic constraints, this is a tough one to overcome alone; however, it is possible to still get an education once women are supported by their families to do so. Women have to be hungry for education, try their best, and put in their all to get education. Most important of all, women have to have hopes and remember that once they seek, there are many people out there ready to support you, if not financially, mentally. Last but not least, do keep in mind that everything that we, women, have encountered is not designed by god, but man-made; therefore, it is up to us to get rid of it. I strongly believe so.

Comments

ale_velez's picture

Thank you !

Thank you for sharing ! I agree with you completely !! We do need to be educated to be able to be good wives and mothers but more importantly to raise our children to be good citizens !!

Ale

Neilly's picture

Hi Ale, That's true. Women

Hi Ale,

That's true. Women loses a lot of opportunities and knowledge when they just stay home and don't have many chances to go out and see the globalized world.

Neilly

Neilly,

"You can do it if you believe you can."

Tina Young's picture

True observation

That's a salient point there Neilly, family support which should be materially, morally, psychologically and otherwise. Most girls tend out as the kind of women molded by their families.
With love
Tina.

Neilly's picture

Yeah Tina, I strongly hope

Yeah Tina, I strongly hope that girls will be strong enough to express who they want to be, not who their families want them to be. I know this is not easy, but at some points in life, wise decisions have to be made, and of course, there will be some trade off that we have to deal with.

Love,
Neilly

Neilly,

"You can do it if you believe you can."

Woman of voice's picture

I strongly agree with you in

I strongly agree with you in that family support is vital in anything we want to accomplish. We need that support base.

Neilly's picture

That's right. We need the

That's right. We need the support, but support won't just sit there and wait for us to grab it. We need to earn it.

Neilly,

"You can do it if you believe you can."

Woman of voice's picture

Well said Neilly

Well said Neilly

Neilly's picture

Thank you :)

Thank you :)

Neilly,

"You can do it if you believe you can."

MDG's picture

The home is the nucleas

Thank you Nelly for driving the point home. It is great how you managed to overcome the many challenges. I want to agree with you that family support is very critical and should be the beginning even before we start looking outside at other enabling and disabling factors that are affecting the lives of women.

I thank you
MDG

Neilly's picture

Hi there MDG, I am flattered.

Hi there MDG,

I am flattered. Thank you for such support. The fact that I could overcome challenges is because I am lucky. I know there are many women out there still striving for the futures they want. I do hope that women can be strong enough to persuade their families in exchange for the supports.

Love,
Neilly

Neilly,

"You can do it if you believe you can."

I strongly believe so too that we must overcome our challenges and be the change which we need in our communities.
Thanks Nelly for this wonderful inside.
Adah

Neilly's picture

Thank you Adah. With support,

Thank you Adah. With support, I believe that women can overcome just anything.

Neilly

Neilly,

"You can do it if you believe you can."

Neilly's picture

-

-

Neilly,

"You can do it if you believe you can."

mai's picture

Right what you are Neilly. I

Right what you are Neilly. I like the sentence when you said "it is up to us to get rid of it". It's really up to us to obtian our rights. We just have to know that we have rights to stive towards it. Your article expresses exactly what girls really suffer.
Great work. Keep up!
Mai

Neilly's picture

Hello Mai, What I'm trying to

Hello Mai,

What I'm trying to express is I want women to know that we really can get rid of those unfair inequality and guide our own lives. I hope I can not just encourage but to open up this fact to others through what I wrote.
Thank you for a great comment.

Neilly

Neilly,

"You can do it if you believe you can."

mai's picture

I hope we all can do

I hope we all can do something useful to get rid of all kind of discrimination and inequality. Thank you for sharing this great article.

Neilly's picture

I truly believe we can, if

I truly believe we can, if not in a short-term, in a long-term. Thank you for appreciating my article.

Neilly,

"You can do it if you believe you can."

loretta's picture

Courage!

I really am sorry about your mother, I know very well, what it's like, been there.

Be grateful for your family's support. Definitely if parents or parent is behind a child, nothing can go wrong, except when that child throws the support back in the parents face. Being a housewife, and not educated isn't good, there are bills, shopping and kid's homework so how will mother cope if she's not educated?

Keep encouraging girls in your community.

Loretta.

A successful woman is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks others throw at her. Author Unkown.

Neilly's picture

What you said is very true

What you said is very true Loretta. Some children don't know how lucky they are to have their patents' support that some people don't even have it

Thank you for reading my post,

Neilly

Neilly,

"You can do it if you believe you can."

loretta's picture

You're welcome Nelly.

I just hope you don't give up, it's true, they should appreciate it while it's still there.

Keep well.

Loretta.

A successful woman is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks others throw at her. Author Unkown.

Neilly's picture

I will never give up. Keeping

I will never give up. Keeping my head high is what gets me here today, and I'll keep walking till I reach my set goal. Thank you again for your encouragement.

Neilly

Neilly,

"You can do it if you believe you can."

LUCY NJANG FUL's picture

wAOOOOH

A REAL PIECE, HELP OTHER GIRLS SUCCEED, DO NOT GIVE UP.

Neilly's picture

Hi again Lucy, thank you for

Hi again Lucy, thank you for always supporting me. Of course, I will never give up and i hope other women won't either.

Neilly

Neilly,

"You can do it if you believe you can."

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