BANGKOK, Thailand -- To mark 16 Days Of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Manushya Foundation, together with Backyard Politics, Thai CSOs Coalition for the UPR and Thai Business and Human Rights Network, joined JASS Southeast Asia’s regional One Day, One Voice 2018 campaign aimed at strengthening sisterhood solidarity around the common pressing concerns in the region and raising the voices of women who collectively act on social and gender justice.
In line with the aim of the campaign, activists representing civil society organizations and community groups associated in the Thai CSOs Coalition and the #ThaiBHR-Network shared solidarity support across their social movements through crafts and arts in an activity on the sidelines of Thailand’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Mid Term Assessment Workshop. The activists included those working for the rights of persons with disabilities, sex workers, indigenous peoples and migrant workers as well as those of LGBTI rights, child rights, land rights, women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health rights. With those remarkable and diverse activists gathered in one place at the same time, the campaign could not come at a better time to stress “We Are All Defenders”, which was the slogan of the activity.
The activists – both women and men – organized in thematic groups as per their issues of work and collaborated to create crafts on fabric pieces based on short poem manifestos and materials they brought from their hometowns in order to represent their struggles as Human Rights Defenders (HRDs).
Here is what the participants came up with from the poem:
By taking part in the One Day One Voice Campaign, we were able to shed light on women’s rights and gender equality, and even though a lot of participating HRDs were men, it was powerful to see them helping together with the women, for the design of the craft pieces. The meeting room was full of positive energy for collaboration and solidarity and exuberance during the time of creation of the art pieces.
Witnessing all the new and long-time Thai civil society activists sharing solidarity support across the movements was an invaluable and unforgettable experience for Manushya Foundation. Of course, the Manushya team also joined the activity and created a craft on fabric piece with the poem:
WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS.
WE DEFEND HUMAN RIGHTS.
COMMUNITY IS OUR POWER.
The intimate and binding moment within the team was a good reminder for us as Manushya Foundation has strived for community empowerment for two years now and committed to invest humanely and financially in enabling the communities to become their own agents of change. It was powerful to see the activists sharing their stories in the workshop, learning from each other’s experiences and cooperating for their various causes and reminded us why building coalition/network is so important to make change happen.
We heartily thank our amazing partners JASS Southeast Asia and Backyard Politics for the wonderful opportunity to organize the activity.
Access pictures of the event here.