The NY Times just ran an article on Mu Sochua, a woman I'm ashamed to say I'd never heard of before. She's a women's rights activist and political figure in Cambodia, and has accomplished a great deal over the last two decades, fighting against domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, child trafficking, and generally raising the profile of women's rights and gender issues in Cambodia.
Her work is limited, unfortunately, by - what else - politics.
The gist of the Times articles is that nobody, including other women in power, wants to have anything to do with Mu Sochua or her agenda, because she opposes the majority government. The majority, needless to say, has made little progress for women's rights, preferring to maintain the status quo. It seems the entire political culture of the country will have to be changed before any real progress is made.
And she's trying - taking on general interest issues, building a reputation for herself among the people. Perhaps someday, Mu Sochua will have the impact on Cambodia that she really ought to.
(Mu Sochua's Website)
(By the way - did anyone think that the title of the Times article was bizarre - "The Female Factor" - what's that supposed to be about?)