From May 5th to 13th 2022, Act Global Teams left Bali to go to Thailand to attend the “Social Media Literacy for Women Rights” training course. The Act Global team that has a chance to go to Thailand was, Harun Arrasyid, Silvian Joy, and Kurnia Wardhani. We represented Act Global at the event held in Bangkok to discuss issues of gender inequality and women’s rights.
Our grand idea for this training course was to increase our knowledge and strengthen our skills and abilities in the issue of gender equality and social media literacy. We also want to try to strengthen the capacity of women organizations and organizations in charge of gender equality by educating youth in order to promote the fundamental EU values in respect of human rights.
As the project objective was well managed, we departed on 5th May of 2022. Three days after the biggest celebration in Muslim Community, Eid Al Fitr. A bit sad leaving the family during these days because on this day, we still going to have meetings with the family and so on, but at the same time, going to Thailand is as much as exciting for them.
The preparation for this project was also smooth. We did not find any difficulty in the process of taking care of documents and other stuff, so on the day they are leaving Bali for Thailand, it went perfectly and they did not have trouble finding the gate of the plane or during the short interview session with the immigration.
For me, this was my second time following a training course or a project from Act Global, and having been involved in this kind of project was always fun. I remembered when almost three years ago, I went to Braga, Portugal to join the European Voluntary services (now European Solidarity Corps) I had the same wondrous experience. Making new friends from all over the world, seeing a new culture, and bringing some knowledge has always been the reason why I love following International youth activities. I also recommended that this was one of the things you should do before you grow old.
During eight days in Thailand, I learned so much about women’s rights and gender equality issues. I became more aware that this is a real problem that women from all around the world are facing. I believe that this problem is still happening on the street. More on that, I also brought forward that we had to give solidarity to all the women and other gender identities out there. I want people out there to realize that women’s rights and gender equality are our joint problems, therefore people need to speak about this issue and asked the government to create and manage inclusive regulations.
For me, this was the first time I am visiting Bangkok or Thailand. And Bangkok for me is really different from the expectation I had in my mind when I arrived in this city. I thought that when I arrived in Bangkok I will found lots of Buddhism stuff and everything, yet what I found was Bangkok was a really diverse city. I noticed that this city is a big metropolitan city. The train system was pretty well adjusted. The city of Bangkok is also a clean city with a big park. Apart from that, from the hotel, he stayed in, I found that this city has lots of Shopping Center, and at least five huge shopping center is reachable by foot. To sum it up, it was a great experience going to Thailand and working on this project. And yes, Thailand street food is the best!
But Nia has her own perspective, for her, this was also her second time participating in an Erasmus + training course. She had previously completed the CSII training course in Bataan, Philippines. Even so, Nia was ecstatic because this was her first trip to Bangkok, Thailand. She was amazed by Bangkok’s beautiful and clean city, despite the fact that it was crowded. Nia gained valuable experience from this training course, despite the fact that it was on a different topic. There were numerous things that can be learned from the various facts that exist.
On the first day, Mr. Nelkoski gave us an explanation of the reasons for establishing this gender equality project. Furthermore, we also received a seminar from Prof. Duanghathai Buranajaroenkij from the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies, Mahidol University. She spoke about gender equality and the situation in Thailand. Nia learned from her explanation that patriarchy is at the root of the problem of gender oppression, which leads to a variety of consequences such as violence, poverty, reproductive injustice, gender stratification, and discrimination. This patriarchal culture exists in Indonesia as well, resulting in gender bias. Nia became emotional and cried in the middle of Prof. Duanghathai Buranajaroenkij’s seminar when she saw cases of sexual harassment and violence that occurred in Thailand, which also occurs frequently in Indonesia.
Nia observed that many of the victims did not receive justice. Some of them did not accept adequate legal representation. Nia was grateful for the existence of institutions such as the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women, which is a place for women to develop themselves, seek protection and self-recovery due to bad things that happen to them, raise their confidence, and become a home for sinless children. Hopes that places like this will continue to exist in every country, which, of course, also requires our support. Nia hopes that the Social Media Literacy for Women’s Rights program will run smoothly in the future and that the program’s objectives will be met. We hope that by working together through social media action campaigns, women will gain good digital literacy and that all justice will be available.
Last but not least, the international night was the most relaxing aspect of this program. During this International Night, each participant will represent their country by displaying various characteristics, food, drinks, and souvenirs. Spain, Italy, Macedonia, Cape Verde, Bulgaria, Thailand, and Indonesia were among the countries represented. On this night, each participant grew closer to one another. Nia also met Jack Leo, who represented Thailand and happened to be a chemistry graduate like her. They also become nostalgic about their college days and the research they conducted, until they realize that what they learned in college was not entirely lost.
Joy told a different story, for her this was her new experience following an international activity from Act Global. Joy said this was a valuable opportunity, therefore, she felt enthusiastic and grateful to be a participant in this project. She gained insight to learn new things such as the culture and the knowledge about the inequality gender, visited new places, and got to know each other from other countries.
During the training course in Thailand, She has known about the problems that happened regarding gender issues, initiatives that make woman’s demands visible, Strategies and achievements of woman’s group networking, and youth and feminist movements in Thailand that were explained by one of the professors. She felt this was a serious problem and should have gained more attention from the government and the local community through social media. There was a similarity in cases of violence sex, gender inequality, and rapes that also happened in Indonesia. She notified us to aware of this topic because it could happen all around us and hopes that the government will provide the regulations for women’s rights.
She said not only is this the first time she has participated in the project, but this is also the first time she has visited Thailand. Bangkok was the first city she visited. she told us that Bangkok was a big city with a lot of public transportation. She was amazed at how clean the street and the Skytrain were. There are many temples of Buddhism in every corner of the city. She loved to visit women’s training centers and tourist attractions such as Museums, Golden Mountain Temple, Chatuchak market, Wat Pho, and the shopping center around the hotel she stayed.
In the end, during the week we followed this training course, we came to an agreement that this project is made us more curious about the gender inequality and women’s rights issues in our country and we would like to give a little hand on these matters, perhaps as simple as speaking out about this in our daily conversation.
Written by Harun, Dhania, and Joy