Mu Sochua was a political leader in Cambodia — now she’s in exile.
“If I were to stay in Cambodia I would be arrested right away,” she explained. “Being in exile is not a choice. But at least it gives me the freedom to speak on behalf of women, on behalf of my people whose stories would not be heard.”
Mu represented the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) as its vice president, where she fought for women and people in poverty. In 2017, the CNRP had won 44% of votes in local elections, which was seen as a threat to Prime Minister Hun Sen. Mu was one of the 118 members of the CNRP party to be banned from politics by the Supreme Court. She has been traveling the world in exile since, urging world leaders to demand democracy and boycott Cambodia’s upcoming July 2018 elections, which her party wasn’t allowed to register for.
“That power I see today, like for the walk for women — #MeToo. I am so inspired by #MeToo. How can we do #MeToo in Cambodia too?” she implored. “We can do it if, only if, people like myself can go back to Cambodia. The story of Cambodia much be heard all over the world, so that women’s issues, empowerment, sexual harassment, gender equality, is always on the agenda.”