(UN Women) 16 May 2014 –“The Internet provides a space where we can speak openly about violence against women [and  girls] ,” says Man Keo Sema, a 22-year-old business administration student at the Build Bright University, in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

She was among the 300 Cambodian youth who took part in the Angkor BarCamp meeting in Siem Reap, in March 2014. BarCamp is an international network that organizes events world-wide to connect IT students and professionals around web and technological innovations.

“ICT [information and communications technology] is a growing sector in Cambodia and a breeding-ground for innovations,” reflects Sunnary Manickam, a young monitoring specialist at the Open Institute, a Cambodian NGO. “It is crucial to connect young dynamic ICT professionals with the use of ICT for social causes.

Sunnary and Yuki Lo, UN Women Cambodia staffer, worked together to inspire 300 youth at the Angkor BarCamp through a workshop focused on how violence against women can be monitored, reported and researched more effectively with the use of  modern technologies.

The presentation focused on Cambodia’s increasing engagement with ICT as a tool to combat violence against women. Sunnary highlighted the work UN Women Cambodia and the Open Institute are undertaking in using technology to monitor and record how violence against women is portrayed in the Cambodian media.

By using a customized media-monitoring system, Sunnary together with her team works to monitor the reporting of violence against women in mainstream media; to promote gender-sensitive coverage of violence against women; and to strengthen the media’s understanding of how the Government can be held to account in terms of progress on gender-related policies. The results of this monitoring will be shared through both traditional and social media and will form the basis of training workshops with media and policy makers. Using this methodology, the Open Institute´s team aims to alter the perceptions around gender issues and its representation in Cambodia.

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