Mrs. Mey, 34, has been a garment worker in Cambodia for the past nine years. Recently, her factory’s training team started providing regular awareness sessions on different life skills, and Mey was excited for the chance to learn new skills.
“I had the opportunity to join the different training on topics like sexual and reproductive health, maternal health, nutrition and financial literacy. Of all the topics, I was the most interested in the Social Analysis and Action training.”
Mey has not always felt comfortable discussing topics with her husband, such as gender equality and sexual and reproductive health. “My husband does not help me with any of the housework. He says those are responsibilities of women. After work, he often plays games and drinks alcohol with his friends, while I do the childcare and housework. I also feel he does not fully understand my health issues. I wanted to talk to him about these things, but I was worried, so I kept silent and kept doing everything on my own.”
“The training helped me to understand gender equality and sexual and reproductive health better. I also realized that if I want things to change, I need to talk about them with my husband. The training gave me the confidence to speak with my husband about these topics and the unequal housework. Initially, we had a small argument but after some time, I tried to talk to him again and he was more willing to discuss the topic with me. Now, he spends more time helping me around the house”
Mey’s biggest takeaway is that having difficult conversations is an important part of creating more equal relationships and families. “I worried about the happiness of my family, but now I appreciate that both me and my husband can change and be role models for our children and each other.”