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Busted! Cambodia cracks down on suggestive Facebook sellers

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PHOTO: Cambodian police are cracking down on provocative Facebook sellers - File photo

Cambodian women’s rights groups are slamming a crackdown on well endowed women who wear “provocative clothing” while selling goods live on Facebook, calling the crackdown dangerous and baseless. Seven groups point out that the women are breaching no law.

“There is no evidence-based research that affirms that women’s clothing choice is the root cause of degradation of social morality.”

Cambodian PM Hun Sen says low cut tops are “an affront to Cambodian culture.” He has ordered authorities to track down and warn vendors who wear them while selling items like clothes and cosmetics, a popular trend in the conservative country.

“Go to their places and order them to stop live-streaming until they change to proper clothes. This is a violation of our culture and tradition.”

The PM says such behavior encourages sexual abuse and violence against women.

Although Cambodia’s young population is increasingly educated, many still expect women to be submissive and compliant, a legacy of “Chbab Srey,” an oppressive code of conduct for women in the form of a poem, which remained on primary school curricula until 2007.

Busted! Cambodia cracks down on suggestive Facebook sellers | News by Thaiger

Cambodia’s national police posted a video to Facebook on Wednesday in which a Cambodian woman makes a public apology for sullying the “tradition and honour of Cambodian women” by wearing “extremely short and sexy clothes” in her online sales pitches. Cambodia’s Interior ministry confirmed on Wednesday that authorities were “taking action ”in line with the PM’s orders.

Amnesty International’s regional director Nicholas Bequelin calls the PM’s comments a “dangerous instance of victim blaming”.

“This rhetoric only serves to perpetuate violence against women. It also stigmatizes survivors of gender-based violence.”

In a 2013 United Nations survey, one in five Cambodian men said they had raped a woman.

Busted! Cambodia cracks down on suggestive Facebook sellers | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: Cambodian police arrested an online seller on Thursday after she posted “a nearly-naked photo showing only her underwear,”

Ros Sopheap, head of the charity Gender and Development for Cambodia, says the government should examine the reasons women sell goods online, not dictate what they wear.

“They always talk about culture, culture, culture. What about jobs? What about education? These things are broken in Cambodia. And what about people’s right to make a living?”

SOURCES:  Chiang Rai Times| Cambodia Daily

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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