Monday, July 18, 2011

UC Students Win Youth Debate Forum on Gender Equity Issues

By Chhay Daroth

Four students from the University of Cambodia (UC) participated in a youth debate forum on gender equity issues held at National Television of Cambodia (TVK) on February 25, 2011. After three rounds of competition between different universities, the UC team was announced as the winning team in the debate forum. The speakers who represented the UC team were Chin Tyheng, Pheng Meassak, Chheng Sovannaka, and Ieng Chankreusna.
UC students and staff members took pictures with the distinguished guests after UC won the debate.
 The discussion forum started at 9 a.m. and lasted until 5 p.m., and was attending by students representing the University of Cambodia, Paññásástra University of Cambodia (PUC), Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), and Cambodian Mekong University (CMU). Approximately 100 students representing the four universities were in attendance. The distinguished guests included H.E. Khim Cham Reourn, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Women Affairs, H.E. San Arun, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Women Affairs, and H.E. Sou Savuth, Advisor to the Ministry of Environment. Chheang Sangvath, Director of the Office of Student Academic Affairs (OSAA), Gina Lopez, Associate Dean of the College of Management, and Sorn Vibol, RUPP instructor, also attended the event to support the team, along with twenty other UC students.

The forum was co-sponsored by the Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Environment, City Hall, United Nations Population’s Fund (UNFPA), and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). It was organized to highlight several things: to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Universal Women’s Rights Day; to promote an end to discrimination against women; to deliver messages to the public about women’s rights; to urge students to improve their research skills; to improve the unity among students from different universities; and to share knowledge and ideas with the public.

There were three rounds of competition between teams from the four universities, and each round had its own discussion topic. In each round, two teams of four students each debated each other on the discussion topic, with one team representing the pro side and the other, the con side. The five judges who evaluated the competition were H.E. Nup Nimol, Kim Siphat, Nhanh Sochetra, Sor Borin, and Thé Chhun Hak.

In the first round of competition, the team from CMU argued the pro side against the team from PUC, which argued the con side, on the topic of “Improving Gender Equality Can Be Achieved by Providing Opportunities to Women.” PUC’s team defeated CMU’s team with a total score of 1048 to 1047.

The UC team defeated the RUPP team with a total score of 1060 to 1058 in the second round of competition on the topic, “Women Have Important Roles in Decision Making,” where UC argued the pro side.

Chin Tyheng, Pheng Meassak, Chheng Sovannaka, and Ieng Chankreusna represented the University of Cambodia in the debate and won first place in the competition.
In the final round of competition, the teams from UC and PUC faced each other on the topic of “Male and Female Youth Play Important Roles in Social Development,” with UC arguing the pro side. After a very challenging round, the judges announced that the UC team defeated the PUC team with a final score of 1090 to 1085.

The program also offered the participants some entertainment, including traditional Khmer singing and comedy. The participants gained valuable knowledge from the discussions, especially regarding gender equity, youth involvement in social development, and the role of women in social development. At the very end of the day, the debaters from the four universities took pictures together with the distinguished guests to mark the conclusion of the discussion forum.

Source: UC Bulletin March 2011, Page 18

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