International Women’s Day – The Women of Phare Circus

Banner of 5 women management and staff of Phare, The Cambodian Circus for Women's Day 2019

International Women’s Day

Phare, The Cambodian Circus would like to honor some of the very special women of Phare for International Women’s Day. The women of Phare hold key positions in management, customer service, costume design, maintenance and sales & marketing. There are very special women musicians and artists. We do our best to honor them every day, but especially for International Women’s Day.  Here are a few short interviews of just a few of them. Follow our social media and visit the Phare venue to see more.

Sovan Neary

Women of Phare - Neary SovanBeing a woman, perhaps the only obstacle is traditional Cambodian culture with respect to a woman’s role in the family and society. Women bear a lot of family responsibilities such as taking care of children and doing housework.  Society believes women need the family’s support to do anything.

It’s different for me. I had the chance to study. My family always believed women should get a good education at school. I have had many opportunities to join professional workshops to further my education. I have a good job, I can develop and grow in​​ my career and I can share my experience with other people.

My family makes me so happy. They give me the opportunity to make decisions. I have 2 wonderful children and very special sister and brother. My Mother is a strong lady. After Khmer Rouge, she has been the head of the family who did everything to support us. She earns a living as a tailor.

We women have to be a strong and show society our ability. Find a good job, get a good education and prevent domestic violence. I hope all women can have the opportunity to be engaged in social events and community development and not be held back by perceived weakness. Women can do anything a man can do. I feel proud to be a woman because I have good job that helps me reach my full potential.

Read more about Neary HERE.

Sous Sinath

Women of Phare - Sinath Sous

I never thought that being a woman was an obstacle in my life.  I am proud to be born as a woman like my mother and my grandmother. Although I never saw her face, my mother told me she sacrificed her life when she gave birth to her baby. I am so proud of her love, sacrifice and bravery to her children as a woman.

Currently in our society, we rarely see respect, value or equality of women by men. Women are indeed equal to men and we can do everything as well as a man can.

I was born the oldest sister in my family, I have two sisters and one brother. I am so proud that I have them as my beloved siblings. I look back on our childhood when we liked playing, singing, swimming and sometimes arguing. My mother told me that I was the oldest sister so it I am like the second mother to my sister and Brother. I was so excited that l cried, to think my mother believed I was so responsible and mature. I always show my love to them by being tolerant, encouraging, and supportive. I am happy to have a great parents, sisters, brother and friends.

It’s an honor to work with Phare Performing Social Enterprise. It’s very gratifying to work with arts communities, help to contribute to social impact through arts, and engage with others. I’m extremely proud of contributing to cultural rebirth and growth in Cambodia.

Women can improve the quality of their life by starting with self-development, knowledge, leadership, contributing to social development and society’s children. I would like to encourage and support all women to be brave and confident enough to do what they think is best, and challenge themselves to be better, be yourself and own it!  Don’t stop dreaming; just go for it. I believe dreams come true. Another good way is being humble, listening and learning from all people around us. I hope to have lots of women in leadership of my community and country.

There are two people that I love and respect most in my life. The first person is my father and second person is my boss. They are very respectful and always support and encourage me under all circumstances.

Read more about Sinath HERE

Thong Mengteang

Women of Phare - Mengteang Thong

Being a woman is a blessing by nature. At the same time, I also face some social and family challenges. When I was young, my family was so strict with me. I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere else besides school. My parents believed that girls should not go out at night time but come right home after high school. My family hesitated to allow me to go to work because they don’t trust people they don’t know. They worried that I might not be able to take care of myself very well. Every day, I try to show them how important it is for a woman to earn her own money and engage in society. I understand that it’s because my parents love me deeply, but traditional beliefs and traditional culture have been obstacles. After my parents started to understand, and when they saw some examples of other people’s daughters’ successes with education or career, they reconsidered and started to realize that sometimes young women have to participate in society, meet new people to expand their network.

There are two things that I am proudest of in my life. One thing is that I can earn my family’s respect and change their mind about women’s role in society. I can change the traditional thinking of some that women can’t work in high positions or they have to only take care of the family after getting married. The second thing is I have a good life-partner who always understands and encourages women like me to have our own dreams. Some Cambodian-Chinese family culture is to respect the husband’s family after marriage. The wife can’t make any important decisions. My husband respects me and I’m an equal voice in decision making

After I got married in 2014, my life completely changed. Being a wife is so different because I have more responsibility and many goals to accomplish. I am lucky to have a good family and husband who encourage and support me. I still want to be an independent woman and control my own life. I really hope that women in the world use their ability and try their best to be important and equal to men.

Mam Senleaphea

Women of Phare - Leaphea Mam

It has remained a challenging for me to balance between personal life and career after marriage: housewife and office worker. Besides working hours, time remaining are for my parents, my husband and housework.

In traditional Cambodian culture, a woman is perceived to be soft minded and physically weak.  They mustn’t go anywhere alone but always be with their husbands. My husband’s thinking is quite different. He is kind and openly supports me to grow. Sometimes he will take time away from his work to accompany me when I must travel for work outside Siem Reap. He supports me even it matters I must be away long or wish to pursue career development programs by Phare.

I appreciate what I have achieved through career and personal life. I love being myself. I’m proud of my work that is not just about making money but being part of a group of good people contributing beautifully and positively to Cambodian society.

The feeling of being a wife came after my wedding. It would make me very happy to have children soon. It is a challenging phase of adopting myself to a new big family, which is quite different from my previous lifestyle. and I wish I could have more fun-time with my parents.

Women in today’s society must be very active,well educated and have a mature marriage for a healthy family and better life. Woman can improve the quality of their life by promoting respect freedom of women, be motivated, freely join community events and bravely express their feelings. Woman can be physically soft with a powerful mind at the same time.

Tha Dary

 Women of Phare - Dary ThaI was an orphan as a child and I lived with my aunt’s family. I really respect my aunt because she is the one who supported my family when I was a kid. My aunt asked me to stop studying to find a job to help support the family. She encouraged me to get married.  It was hard for me because it wasn’t really allowed or acceptable for me to protest or make my own decisions.

When I became a wife and mother of 2 kids, I was so happy. I feel so lucky to have a warm, loving family, husband and 2 beautiful children. My husband is a good man. He is never violent or aggressive toward me or the family. He totally supports equal rights for women and against any discrimination.

I’m also very fortunate to work at a place that values woman with support, encouragement and job development programs. Some woman in the country side still feel they can’t earn as much money as a man, so they give up and follow Cambodian traditional culture, staying at home. They should change their mind and follow their dreams of what they want to be. I really wish that woman in the word have a good life and equity.

Woman should make clear goals, be strong, make decisions, participate and demand respect.

Read more about Dary HERE.

Find out what Women’s Day means for some women of Phare in the artists’ group HERE.

You May Also Like…

Cambodian Water Festival (Bon Om Touk)

Cambodian Water Festival (Bon Om Touk)

Experience the Vibrant Cambodian Water Festival: Bon Om Touk (ព្រះរាជពិធីបុណ្យអ៊ុំទូក) If you're planning a trip to...