An indigenous young woman attended the Paris Peace Forum 2022
As a member of the Cambodia ICT and Digital Forum (CamIDF), I had an opportunity to apply for the Paris Peace Forum (PPF) program for the first time. I was selected to attend the fifth edition of the Forum under a project titled “Open Data for Indigenous and Ethnic Minority” and it is a rare opportunity. As indigenous people (IP), I believe we would greatly benefit from this project because it will improve our access to data, information, and self-governance. Additionally, it was displayed on the global stage and viewed globally. I had a chance to speak with experts and decision-makers in this domain.
It was my pleasure to be in the Forum wearing my Jarai attire and present the project at the 5th edition, which was held at the Palais Brongniart on November 11 and 12, 2022. The 5th edition focused on strengthening civic space, citizens, and civil society so they can play a defining role in power balances, from local to global governance. Additionally, initiatives to empower women and promote gender equality were especially emphasized. Seventy projects were displayed, and 80 panel discussions were presented with 4,800 participants. Even though our team members were busy with visitors at our booth, I could tell from my presentation that the audiences were quite interested in our project. I talked about my IP communities, cultures, educational situation, clothing, etc. Realizing today issues was a good experience. We also worked together to discover solutions, met potential people, and had the chance to speak with leaders to gain insight into how they were able to address earlier issues successfully. We need leaders who are willing to listen to innovative ideas and are genuinely committed to putting those solutions into practice.
I had an inspired and motivating conversation with Ms. Macarena García Charad from “Empowering Women through Careers in Tech,” whose booth was opposite mine. She is a project leader who supports women in tech fields and encourages her team to pursue studies in ICT. At the end of our talk, we started discussing the value of educational technology. She told me that she wants to create a more diverse, inclusive, and competitive digital economy that opens opportunities for all women to realize their potential. In this way, she hopes to inspire Cambodian women, especially my IP women at the Cambodia Corps, Inc (CCI) dorm, to pursue careers in technology. Women’s Intellectual Work Camp identifies challenges of indigenous peoples that align with SDG goals to accelerate early solutions. In my field of cybersecurity at Cambodia University of Technology and Science (CamTech), I believe that being curious is as important as being a part of those solutions for our world to how to get out of cyberwarfare, cyberbullying, algorithm bias, and information manipulation into a global digital solution, which all make me want to delve deeper.
Last but not least, I’m delighted to have learned so much and to have been a part of this wonderful event. I would like to express my gratitude to CamIDF for providing indigenous communities with the opportunity to participate in global initiatives and to ODC for providing me with this exceptional opportunity to speak on behalf of indigenous women about issues of IP at the Forum, as well as for helping me out and taking good care of me.