“I am a daughter” is a project by METAHOUSE, funded by Rosa-Luxemburg-Stfitung Southeast Asia. The topic is girl empowerment: encourage women not to drop their studies which compile of theater performance at high schools in Cambodia, website launching with video production. First part of the project was theatre performance that took place from May – July 2018 in 9 high schools with pre and post survey, performance, model presentation.
The performance featured with 1 actor and 1 actress with the girl has just passed her grade – 12 exams, enough to escape her rural hometown and pursue a university education in Phnom Penh, though her grandmother wants her to marry the rich rice-mill owner nearly twice her age. The play depicts realistic scenarios for women, in which they find a perhaps idealistic solution. The crux of the drama is captured by the debate between the girl and her grandmother. She points to the unhappy family-arranged marriages of her own mother and her friend – who happened to have married the brother of the rice mill owner at the age of 16. It was to show how a girl can have a voice in the family. The 45-minute play, constructed about 10 scenes, ultimately has a hopeful and happy ending – though it’s not one without compromise. Both the girl and rice mill owner get what they want, a choice the girl says was made to keep the play grounded in reality, while also providing a young audience with both female and male “role model” characters.
Young girls watching the play, hopefully, will come away committed to their aspirations, not to patriarchal pressure.