The Role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Women Empowerment in the Deep South of Thailand

Ms Anna Christi Suwardi1

1College of Asean Community Studies, Phitsanulok, Thailand, 2Dialogue, Emphatic Engagement and Peacebuilding Network (DEEP), Yogyakarta, Indonesia

This study will examine the role of CSOs particularly involved in women empowerment happening at conflict-affected area by taking the case of CSOs in the Deep South of Thailand. The area has been experiencing intra-state conflict that was highly escalated since early 2000s where numbers of women were reportedly victimized both directly and indirectly, defining them as vulnerable groups in the area. Since then, women organizations in the Deep South showed their active engagement as efforts towards empowering women in the area. They work either in the field of socioeconomics as well as politics. Empowering women in the conflict-affected area is crucial to meet the needs of rights towards them. Therefore, this research highlights that active contributions of women organizations could positively affect the women empowerment agendas.

Analyzed with gender perspective, this research will address its research question: What are the roles of women organizations and how they could significantly empower women in the Deep South of Thailand? Using both primary and secondary data that were collected from main empirical data, observations as well as archives and literature, this study concludes the importance of women organizations in empowering women in the area through training on capacity building, micro-economic programs, as well as political educations that adopts gender perspectives.

Keywords: women organizations, women empowerment, conflict-affected area.


Biography: 

Anna Christi Suwardi has been working in women and peacebuilding issues in Asia. She is currently conducting her research in the Deep South of Thailand and Aceh, Indonesia. She had joined fellowships in US-Asia Pacific Professional Program in Washington DC, Asian Research Institute in Singapore, EWHA Global Empowerment Program in Seoul, Mahathir Global Peace School in Malaysia, and American Political Science Association (APSA) Asia Program in Malaysia. She is also an active member of global network namely Dialogue, Emphatic Engagement and Peacebuilding (DEEP) Network established in Melbourne, Australia. While at the same time, she is working in academic based area in Thailand and news contributor for a private television station in Indonesia. She is currently pursuing PhD in College of ASEAN Community Studies in Thailand.

ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION

The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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