The opened page of the UN Women Congress

Three of CambodiaCircles reporters was honored to join World Congress of Global Partnership for Young Women. They are now writing to share their experiences of what they got at the international stage.

-by Vann Chanvetey

CambodiaCircles reporters and other participants in the World Congress of Global Partnership for Young Women. We are represented a gender that was once discriminated and inferior to step on an international stage to obtain the real taste of ‘all men are created equal’. There were nine of us, young women from Cambodia, invited to join a World Congress of Global Partnership for Young Women. The congress was supported by United Nation Women, a United Nation entity, under the cooperation of Duksung Women University in Seoul, South Korea. 

The congress took place in Seoul from August 10th to 15th, 2012, under the theme: “Sharing Together: A Sustainable Global Partnership for Gender Equity and Young Women’s Empowerment”.  This UN-backed congress was aimed to create networks among women, undergraduates or graduates, from Asia and Africa, and to produce a mutual understanding despite the differences in background, culture and race.

(From left) Sam Chanmaliny, Lim Meng Y, and Vann Chan Vetey in the World Congress of Global Partnerhsip for Young Women During the congress, there were many activities such as lectures addressing issues related to women’s rights, cultural events, field trips, and poster and presentation competition. Nine of Cambodian delegates were divided into three teams to join the presentation competition. One of them was successfully selected to be the winner, beating all other teams coming from other countries.

This was the first time that UN Women worked with Duksung Women University to create such a program. It is just the beginning of a bigger step to link young women from Asia and Africa. The upcoming activities will be volunteer and internship services which grant opportunities to students from both continents to work with international organizations and NGOs. Please stay tune.

Made a stand on International stage

- by Lim Meng Y

(From left) Vann Chan Vetey, Lim Meng Y, and Sam Chanmanliny giving presentation in the event. After several rounds of selections, a team from Cambodia, including Vann Chan Vetey, Sam Chanmaliny, and I, was proudly selected to be one among the top 5 teams out of 48 teams from over Asia and Africa continents to present on the stage on the topic, “Women’s Roles and World Peace”.

The warm ovation from audience calmed down our nerves and boosted the confidence within us. To be qualified as winners, presenter teams have to hold a good content of presentation, convey a skillful presentation technique, and be economical with time consuming.

Thankfully, knowledge, self-researching and sufficient rehearsals were the assets we own to produce a good outcome which reinforces judges’ decision to honor our team as the first runner-up after a group from India, who spotted the first winner.

(From left) Sam Chanmaliny, Lim Meng Y, and Vann Chan Vetey in the World Congress of Global Partnership for Young Women. Honestly, we, ourselves, had never expected this more-than-expected result—it does not mean we were disqualified, but it was just the feeling when you were rewarded something too good to believe for your effort. The cherish result obviously brightened our hope and realized our dream which we always wanted to bring fame to nation and get our nation’s reputation recognized internationally. 

More on my personal front, I could feel the sense of direction after joining the program. The sense I was inspired by women leaders from around the world to start loving what I am doing right now, which means you do things which definitely make your heart beat for.

This priceless experience made me realize that deep within people lay an untapped power; power that would amaze you; that you would never dreamt of processing, power that would change your life if you aroused to put it into action.

So tap your power and live your extraordinary life!

Exploring, the Amazing Demilitarized Zone Trip, DMZ

- by Sam Chanmaliny

World Congress of Global Partnership for Young Women. The last day, 15 August 2012, each group had the option to join a city tour, government institutions visit, and DMZ trip. Different from others, we (Vann Chan Vetey, Lim Meng Y and I) chose DMZ while we felt regret on our choice at first, but we found it fantastic later.

DMZ, The Demilitarized Zone, is a military zone of US military base between South Korea and North Korea. “DMZ is a historic place that holds significance of representing the tension and conflict that existed during the Cold War and is a testimony to the division of the Korean Peninsula.”

Before a day of the trip, we got a lot of notifications from the organizers. Firstly, what we needed to be aware of was bringing passport along for the tour even you were were South Korean citizen because DMZ did not belong to South Korea or North Korea.

Sam Chanmaliny during her visit in Korea during the World Congress of Global Partnership for Young Women. Secondly, what we needed to know was about dress code. You are not allowed to wear sexy clothes or charming clothes. You are banned to wear colorful jeans, leather pants, short pants, sleeveless tops, training pants and military style. For the shoes, you need to wear sneakers.

Thirdly, you are not allowed to take pictures for the banned place if you do not want your camera taken away. What a trip! It just came out in my head and I kept asking myself if I chose the right place for my first trip to Korea. The answer was revealed.

There were about 40 people for our tour. While I was on the bus, the tour guides caught my interest. You know what I was surprised about was a legal letter to enter DMZ. We need to ask the legal letter from the government about 6 months or longer than that because it is special tourism site. Wow, I felt it was was the special place to visit. From uninterested feeling to curious feeling, I was in a good mood of exploring more about DMZ trip then.

The bus stopped and picked up another tour guide, but he was not employed to any tour agency; he was a US army who gave an introduction of DMZ.

The bus stopped again, but we were not allowed to bring bag along. We could keep the staff only in our pocket. Now we were at Freedom House by walking into 2 rows and following the US army.

Then, I felt I was crossing the land between South Korea and North Korea, and around us, there were a lot of militaries who were included some North Korean militaries. The feeling I had at that time was excited, amazing and a bit nervous. 

The last site for us was the souvenir shop at Joint Security Area (JSA). There were handmade products that were made by North Korean people. We just spent about 40 minutes there and bought some souvenir things back home.

Finally, I chose the right decision to visit DMZ, and it became unforgettable trip for me.