Coming into the Light

August 12, 2014

Champey* is one of the participants of the Triple Jeopardy education and research program, conducted in Phnom Penh.

Champey acquired a disability in a traffic incident, and experienced violence as a woman with disability. She spoke with International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA, a Triple Jeopardy partner) about her experiences.

Looking back at her life before the Triple Jeopardy program, Champey says, she feels like she was a different person. Women with disabilities are often hidden away and made to “live in the dark” in Khmer society. It is believed their lives are meaningless, because of limitations on their ability to work and contribute to family life. This makes them vulnerable to abuse, with 25% of Cambodian women with disabilities reporting physical violence from a family member.

Champey was supported by IWDA to attend the Triple Jeopardy ‘training of trainers’ course. It supports women to facilitate discussions about women with disabilities in local communities. By exploring how discrimination occurs in a social context, course participants are able to demand more respect with their own voices.

Since the course, Champey has become vocal about gender and disability in her community, where she dreams of setting up an outreach program to educate and empower other women with disabilities. She believes that by working together, women with disabilities in Cambodia can support each other to bring their lives into the light.

Visit the International Women’s Development Agency for more information on their work.

‘Triple Jeopardy’ research program is a partnership between International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) and Monash University, the CBM-Nossal Institute Partnership in Disability and Development, Banteay Srei, and Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation. The Triple Jeopardy research program examined how discrimination on the grounds of gender, disability and poverty disadvantage Cambodian women with disabilities.

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