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March to Protest Violence Against Women

About 300 beer-girls, NGO officials, legislators, civil servants and union officials will march on November 27 at the historical tourist attraction site in Siemreap province to protest against violence committed on the beer-girls.

The march to stop violence against women is an activity as part of the world campaign to curb violence against women. The campaign will last 16 days and it will coincide with the international Human Rights Day.

The beer-girls have to entertain their male guests who purchase the beers. They have been abused over the years. They were slapped, have beer poured on their heads, and forced to drink beer with the customers. People perceive them as prostitutes because some of them do go home with their customers. They said that their guests told them they are cheap and bad.

Ms. Mu Sochua, former Minister of the Ministry of Women's Affairs said that the campaign's goal is to inform the public about the danger that the beer-girls face.

In Cambodia, there are about 5,000 so-called beer-girls who have to be friendly, pretty, and satisfy their guests.

The number of these girls increase according to the rising numbers of bars, karaoke and night clubs. These places are the breeding grounds for AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual violence, and women's rights violation.

These girls work from 5:00 PM to 3:00 AM.

Ms. Lay Sopheap of the Free Trade Union of Kingdom of Cambodia said that these girls are not represented.