Chandy Eng's Story
Chandy Eng is a WPSP delegate from Cambodia who participated in the Summer 2014 Leadership Institute with the Harpswell Foundation and Pannasastra University.
After joining the two week program with WPSP, Eng shifted her focus on women’s rights to a global scale. Critical political decisions that affect people from all walks of life are being made as rural markets become international markets. These decisions are made without the consultation of women leaders and to the detriment of women across the globe. With these issues in mind, the networks that Eng is working with, such as Harpswell Foundation and Cambodian Young Women Empowerment Network (CYWEN), have focused on the discrimination of young, rising women leaders fostered by the political spheres dominated by men.
Eng is especially concerned with current female leaders who are influenced by these political spheres to participate in the discrimination of rising female leaders. Women suffer from a distinct lack of supportive role models who are conscious of gender disparities in politics. Women also face a distinct disadvantage in political fields all over the world that applaud the assumed aptitude men have for leadership. Given this situation, there are very few women in public service serving in leadership roles and even fewer women who see the value and necessity of fulfilling these roles.
Chandy Eng hopes to overcome these barriers by shining a light on gender issues that women leaders face that affect society on a global scale.
Harpswell and CYWEN have been working diligently on educating future female leaders about gender issues and their important roles in public service, bringing awareness of the discrimination that leaders unwittingly participate in against the inclusion of young women in public service because they are disparaged by certain older cultural values. They provide educational resources for future leaders to learn about gender issues and gender stereotyping, as well as legal documents that promote and protect women’s rights. In this capacity, Eng helps facilitate workshops that connect current leaders with rising young female leaders to create those networks of apprenticeship and learning that previously did not exist.
Eng works passionately to connect with other women networks so that together women can make change in solidarity. She is bringing voices of young women leaders from different parties by quoting their speeches and wonderful works, as well as writing radio shows urging all people to stop judging the leadership qualities of an individual, man or woman, by the biology of their body and to start promoting them for the merit of their minds.
These concerted efforts come from powerful lessons taught by the WPSP:
Don’t stay silent and allow men to voice their opinion instead of you!
Don’t become complicit in injustice through inaction.
Don’t become complacent with inequality by choosing ignorance.
Tell the truth.
Eng believes that these are the ideas that young women should carry; young women may have to work harder than ever to build a world where women will become leaders based on merit and not disqualified based on biology.