Ministry of Education in Thailand pledges to empower youth to end violence against women and children

Date: Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bangkok

The Office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC), the Ministry of Education in Thailand pledges to end violence against women and girls through the power of youth in the “Youth to End Violence: Paint in the Park Event” jointly organized with UN Women today.

Leading up to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, balloons of ‘commitments’ were launched by OBEC and UN Women executives and 270 secondary and primary school students across Bangkok.

UN Women in partnership with OBEC organized a painting competition under the theme “Youth to End Violence Against Women” in November 2013, the campaign month against violence against women in Thailand.  This marks the first time that OBEC extends awareness raising on ending violence against women and girls to primary students— starting with 37 primary schools in Bangkok. 


 Drawing by participating Grade 4 student with Thai text reading, "This hand is not used to hit (my) wife."

222 Grade 1 to 6 winners from each school joined the final round of the painting competition at the Railway Public Park in Bangkok. At the park, paintings by winners of each of the 37 schools in the first round are exhibited to families who visit the park on Sunday.  The selection of venue symbolically reinforces the message that ending violence against women and girls is a public issue, and not a private matter.

The first ever Paint in the Park Youth EVAW painting competition supported by UN Women in November 2013 is an innovative attempt for OBEC to reach out to primary students.  It is an ambitious effort to complete a cycle of grooming children and young people as change agents against violence against women and girls. 

 
Drawing by an elementary school student with a call out, "Stop Violence against Women".

Violence against women and girls has its root cause in gender equality and unequal power relations.  Seeds of gender inequality start through social formation at a very young age, and so must the creation of culture of care, respect, rights and peace.  Through the art of painting, primary school students internalized ending violence against women messages, and conveyed to adults about how they perceive violence against women and girls and how they feel the need to put it to an end.

“Today, OBEC pledges to take three concrete actions to end violence against women and children,” says Mr. Rojana Kritcharoen, OBEC Deputy Secretary-General. “First, OBEC will advocate for schools and organizations under OBEC to organize campaign activities for the eradication of violence against women and children.  Secondly, OBEC commits to transform knowledge, values and attitudes of OBEC students so that they recognize the magnitude and severity of violence.  Thirdly, OBEC will protect and support students to have the necessary life skills for self and mutual respects, and will promote positive discipline management in all schools.


Photo credit: UN Women/Siriporn Laosang

“Prevention is the most powerful strategy in breaking the cycle of violence,” says Roberta Clarke, UN Women Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific and Representative in Thailand, “As such, we must create knowledge, raise awareness and promote zero tolerance for violence, especially amongst and through young people, girls and boys”.   

The Youth to End Violence Against Women Initiative is partially funded by the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women.  It is a contribution of the UN Women Programme in Thailand to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence Against Women.

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Media Contact:

Montira Narkvichien, Regional Communications Specialist, UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Ph: +66 81 66 88 900; E-mail: montira.narkvichien@unwomen.org

More information on UN Women at http://asiapacific.unwomen.org 

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.

About the Event

Painting in the Park competition is part of the UN Women Youth to End Violence Initiative, started in 2008 as the UN Women- The Office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC) partnership. To-date 780 lead students from 36 secondary schools in nine provinces across all regions in Thailand have gone through knowledge generation and sensitization workshops on gender equality, ending violence and domestic violence.  They were then supported to develop school-based Youth EVAW projects, and reach out to their peers, parents and communities. They advocate for zero tolerance of forms and manifestations of violence against women and girls that are most pervasive in their experiences.  Many of the Youth EVAW high school students have entered universities and now serve as facilitators and trainers for the younger generation, including the 285 police cadets trained on ending violence against women and domestic violence in 2012 by UN Women in partnership with the Office of the Attorney General.