Thailand | ActionAid UK

Thailand

TH
  • 47
    47% of small schools in Thailand1 are under threat of closure by the Thai government.
  • 48
    48% of farmers in Thailand are female and struggle with lack of resources and land grabbing.2
  • 86
    86% of women in Thailand have experienced harassment in public. 3
  • 1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262676409_Educational_Quality_of_Small_Schools_in_Thailand
  • 2. https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=th&u=https://gnews.apps.go.th/news%3Fnews%3D25250&prev=search
  • 3. https://www.actionaid.org.uk/latest-news/three-in-four-women-experience-harassment-and-violence

What we do in Thailand

Access to education

The quality of education provided by the Thai government is inconsistent. Due to limited number of students per school in the rural and remote areas, the government is merging and closing 7,000 small schools all over the country affecting many children, their families and communities.

Small schools are schools with less than 120 children and largely service the communities in rural and remote areas. Closing them down affects the access to education for the poorest in Thailand’s rural communities. More small schools are under threat of closure by the government.

ActionAid Thailand is working with local organisations to influence the change to government policy around the closure of small schools. We are also working to improve the quality of education in small schools and increasing the capacity of teachers. 

ActionAid Thailand works closely with the Small Schools Network to develop a small school model that focuses on participation of communities in school management, development of a curriculum tailored to small schools, and training on a small budget. 

  • By 2017, we supported 717 teachers from 165 schools and worked with 90 small schools, introducing new methods in the classroom to improve the quality of education for nearly 5,000 students.4
  • By 2018, 70 pilot schools were established and have not been closed or merged, providing equal access to quality public education through an active learning curriculum.

  • Over 7,000 students have benefited from improved classes in 2018.5

We are also developing a book to share our learning on small school models and to generate awareness and support from the public.

 

Strengthening skills and knowledge for female farmers

ActionAid Thailand focuses on strengthening skills and knowledge so women and girls can effectively participate in decision-making that affects their lives and livelihoods.

48% of Thai farmers are female, as recorded by the National Statistics Office of Thailand6. Female farmers face challenges like lack of technological knowledge, land-grabbing and unpaid care work

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, if female farmers had the same access to resources as their male counterparts there could be a 20-30% estimated yield increase7

But most of the decision-making, access to knowledge and technology still rests with men as women are also expected to perform caring roles at home. 

ActionAid Thailand facilitates the sharing of knowledge and experiences in farming practices for female farmers as well as education on land rights.

 

Tackling urban harassment and violence

86% of women in Thailand’s cities have experienced some form of harassment or violence in public.8

According to the 2017 survey by Safe Cities for Women Network, in Bangkok 45% of female bus and train passengers reported being sexually harassed on public transport, of which 15.4% reported being touched or groped.9 

ActionAid Thailand is part of the Safe Cities for Women Network in Thailand. Along with local partners, we work with the government’s transport agency to create safer environments for women and girls including building a safer public transport system for women. 

  • Safe Cities for Women Network have recruited 800 volunteers to join ‘Team Peuak” or “nosy team” where members of the public can safely interject on behalf of women and girls being harassed on public transport.
  • We have also established a campaign to encourage society to share ways to end sexual harassment on the transport system10.
  • Safe Cities for Women Network continues to train public transport staff and will be doing so until the end of 2019. Approximately 1,100 drivers and staff are expected to have been trained by end of 2019.
  • Safe Cities for Women Network developed ‘Butt In Manual’, a guide for public transport staff against sexual harassment.5 

Through training and capacity building, we empower women and girls to recognise their rights so they can live without fear of violence and claim control over their bodies. 

  • 4. https://www.actionaid.or.th/en/
  • 5. a. b. ActionAid Thailand annual report 2018
  • 6. https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=th&u=https://gnews.apps.go.th/news%3Fnews%3D25250&prev=search
  • 7. https://www.cropscience.bayer.com/en/blogs/2019/03/diana-gitonga-women-smallholder-farmers-rising-to-the-challenge
  • 8. https://www.actionaid.org.uk/latest-news/three-in-four-women-experience-harassment-and-violence
  • 9. https://www.nationthailand.com/national/30359121
  • 10. https://www.teampueak.org/

Footnotes

Smita Sharma/ActionAid Florian Lang/ActionAid Richard Carter/ActionAid