The New Year sets my mind to work on something very personal to me. This is my resolution for 2013.
The increasing violence against women has been on the news for a long time. Physical and psychological violence against women that many take for granted.
I keep in touch with other Thai women on this matter because in Thailand there is a terrible stereotype that women can be hit and abused. Often it is treated like a joke by men but the dangers are real.
According to World Health Organization, “While sexual violence was considerably less frequent than physical violence in most settings, it was more frequent in provincial Bangladesh, Ethiopia and urban Thailand” and the most common act of violence experienced by women was being slapped by their partner, “from 9% in Japan to 52% in provincial Peru.”
In most places, between “11% and 21% of women reported being hit by a partner with his fists.”
In Thailand, the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and the national campaigns conducted by Prime Minister Yingluck, have placed urgency in dealing with VAW issues. There are coordinated networks and administrative authorities that work to eradicate violence.
The legal framework of the Constitution also addresses the issue regarding violence against women in a number of its Sections as follows:
Section 30 : all persons are equal before the law and shall enjoy equal protection under the law. Men and women shall enjoy equal rights.
Section 40 : every child, youth, woman or aging or disabled person shall have the right to appropriate protection in judicial process and shall have the right to appropriate treatment in case related to sexual offences.
Section 52 : Children, youth, women and family members shall have the right to be protected by the State against violence and unfair treatment and shall have the right to medical treatment or rehabilitation upon the occurrence thereof.
Section 81 and 84 also describes the priority towards women against violence.
As such, Thailand’s NGOS, political parties, private sectors and society must push aside their petty differences and start raise awareness of VAW. Men should not avoid being involved, they are key to the eradication of VAW. We must all change our attitudes, for the sake of our future and present.
Let us start with making that resolution to help each other and educate others about equality and rights.