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 Words in the News
  BBC Correspondent Caroline Gluck reported on Cambodia’s first ever national conference on gender and development.
  Audio Listen to the report in full
Cambodian women

9th September 1999

Cambodian Women’s Conference

NEWS 1  Over the next few days, mainly women speakers ranging from politicians to PhD holders and prostitutes will meet to discuss some of the problems and challenges facing women in Cambodia. While women make up a majority of the population, they’re often denied many opportunities available to men. The enrolment rate for girls in school is half that for boys at the age of fifteen and literacy rates for women lag behind those for men. On average, men earn about fifty percent more than women in the same occupation, and at professional and public level, women are poorly represented. Other issues, such as the maternal mortality rate -- the highest in the Asia-Pacific region -- the trafficking of women and the dramatic increase in AIDS will also be the subject of debate.

mainly women speakers: most of the speakers are women

women make up a majority: women are more than half the population in Cambodia

denied: not allowed to have the same opportunities as men

lag behind: literacy rates for men and women may both increase; but the rate for women remains lower than the rate for men

On average: generally - in most cases

poorly represented: there are very few women in the most highly respected and highly paid jobs

trafficking of women: women are bought and sold as goods

NEWS 2  The Ministry of Women’s Affairs, which is co-hosting the meeting, has already launched its own ambitious plan of action aimed at gender mainstreaming to ensure that women participate in development decisions at all levels of society. Key to this is improving women’s access to education even in basic literacy, giving them the confidence not only to voice their views, but to feel they can actively participate in the development of their country.

plan of action: a series of things you have decided to do in order to achieve something

gender mainstreaming: making equality for women a high-profile, political issue - as important as health and education

Key to this: central to the solution

to voice: to express

   Read about the background in BBC News Online

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