One of my good Cambodian friends works at a well-known hotel and she is one of the most giving and hard-working people I’ve met. She works almost every day of the week managing the hotel, dealing with customers (often crappy ones too), taking care of her niece and supporting her other siblings and the family, some of whom don’t work at all. She barely has enough money to keep for herself because she takes care of everyone else.
This is unfortunately a very common story for both women and men, but women predominantly.
One day, this friend wanted to buy a nice motorcycle for herself and it cost a bit over US $1000. But in Cambodia, most women don’t ride manual motorcycles, it’s usually the men. Almost all of the women ride scooters. People, including women, told me friend, “This is not good for lady, you should get a smaller motto. It’s better for you.”
Glad she got it anyway despite people telling her not to. It’s women like her that will slowly change the perception of women can and can’t do.
After being in Asia for 2 years, I’ve had the honour of meeting women who have gone against their families’ wishes to educate themselves, go against society’s expectations of what it is to be a “proper” woman and women who work every day to raise and take care of their families without any complaints.
I have met so many strong women in every country I have travelled to and know many strong women in my family and friends and I admire all of them.
My wish is that all women, and men too, have the opportunity to be educated, to get paid fairly for the work they do, to have the freedom to choose who they marry or if they want to marry at all.
Happy women’s day.