Global Women's Strike in Thailand

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GWS Thailand, the Community Women Human Rights Defenders Collective in Thailand, is comprised of grassroots women currently representing nineteen different sectors who are defending family, community and the environment.  These sectors include indigenous women, migrant and refugee women, disabled women,  urban women from the slums, rural women farmers and women from the conflict zone in the Deep South. Sex workers, garment workers, and those fighting against destruction of natural resources and the environment. They work to protect life, livelihoods and the natural world. The Collective demands a Care Income, and an end to poverty, inequality and State oppression in all forms.

Email: gws@globalwomenstrike.net

Women and mothers of South Peasants Federation Thailand have said what a Care Income would mean to them as people who care for the family, the community, and the land:

A Care Income would mean:

  1. Economic liberation .. it would mean being independent from the men
  2. Now I have to manage to provide for everything on a tiny amount of money. Every single day I have to spend a lot of time thinking and planning how to manage. If I have a care income I can use that all that thinking time to work on public and land rights issues
  3. Care Income could be housing … a secure place for me and my children
  4. Land can be a care income as a part of State welfare
  5. When my elderly mother gets sick and is dying I won’t be able to spend the last precious months or weeks together. Instead, I will have to go out and earn money. A Care Income means I can care for family without having to leave them to do it.
  6. Women fighting for land, improving environment and for social justice should get all get a care income.
  7. Caring for the land is about food security as well as caring for the environment. Food security is linked to social justice so women in other social justice struggles also should get a care income as it is all linked.
  8. Care income would strengthen our voices and our power
  9. It would allow us to take care of our children and the child is the most precious resource of society
  10. It would mean I would feel satisfied with society because women and carers would be valued more in society. Our value would be reflected by the care income being what we earn not charity
  11. A better quality of life for my children and give me opportunity to care for my children better
  12. I would have savings
  13. I’d have time to care for my family
  14. Give me time to help society
  15. Give me time to learn about economics, society and politics
  16. Let me help sisters without being limited by my own poverty
  17. Women would have a have a better role in society
  18. Time to care for own family and I would get to interact socially with others which is good for mental health
  19. I’d have time to meet with friends, follow the news, mix in society
  20. The elderly would be better off so I would have less stress and be able to focus on caring for my own children
  21. It would reduce the burden on younger women who care for two generations, old and young.
  22. We can look after ourselves and can fight for land and work on other community problems e.g. solve problem of violent men in family and community

Press statement 29 November 2022 by Community WHRDs Collective in Thailand

On the occasion of International Women Human Rights Defenders Day we, Community WHRDs Collective in Thailand gather to restate and amplify our demands first submitted to three Parliamentary Committees to mark International WHRD Day, 21 November 2019.
We re-affirm that the 2017 Constitution is not fit for purpose and must be replaced. It must be replaced by a Constitution created with the full participation of the People to result in a real democracy. A People’s Constitution that is based on principles of human rights will ensure a strong justice system and the development of fair laws.
Caring is the basis of humanity. It is a relationship, and the work of caring, for children, family community and the natural world is vital work. Care work in the home is overwhelmingly done by mothers and women unwaged and unrecognized. The government must stop shirking their responsibility by relying on women as a proxy welfare system that costs them nothing.
We demand that the government provide a Care Income as wages for mothers and all carers for the security and quality of life of all people in society. This Care Income maybe paid in cash, housing, land or other means.
Since the 2014 coup, the allocation of the national budget has not been for the benefit of the people, but rather it has been allocated to oppress and harm the people. A recent clear example is the actions of the security forces during the APEC meeting.
Peaceful gatherings to protest are the right of the people and the security forces duty is to arrange matters for mutual convenience and protection. The duty of security forces is to prevent and deter violence for the safety of the all people involved. The people’s purpose was to submit a petition and increase understanding, but instead of acting to deter and prevent violence the armed security forces themselves became violent. We demand the government take all measures necessary to ensure justice. Justice includes dropping charges against the protesters. Authorities must issue a public apology and take full responsibility for treatment and recovery of Mr Payu Boonsophon plus compensation for him and all those injured in the incident.
The behavior of the security forces during the past eight years has become increasingly out of control and outside the law. The abuse of power has its roots in the military government that sanctions this by failing to restrain them, granting impunity and allocating more and more resources. It is often the women in the family left to care for those imprisoned or injured, pursue the truth for the disappeared and seek justice for those killed.
The Community WHRD Collective demands a People’s Constitution that ensures the reduction in the power and budget of the military. The government must invest in caring rather than killing.
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