Thailand Supports First Lady’s Initiative to Promote Girls’ Education
(Photo credit: Peace Corps Thailand)
Happy International Day of the Girl Child! In December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to declare 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the challenges girls face around the world.
The international community acknowledges that girls education and women empowerment are important for any country to thrive. Just weeks ago in New York, world leaders adopted the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These global targets encompass 17 development goals, one of which is to ensure gender equality and women empowerment.
Earlier in March 2015, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama announced “Let Girls Learn” Initiative to advocate for girls education worldwide. The initiative has been implemented through the work of Peace Corps volunteers in more than 60 developing countries. Thailand is among the first batch of countries chosen to implement the Initiative.(Photo credit: the White House)
These global efforts and the Obama Administration’s initiative to advocate for girls rights resonate very well with Thailand’s policy. Promoting girls education and gender equality has always been central to Thailand’s development efforts and human rights agenda.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha addressed the ceremony celebrating the 2015 International Women’s Day
(Photo credit: Royal Thai Government)
Thailand has made consistent efforts to fulfill our obligation under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) with regard to girls’ rights. The Thai Government, for example, enacted the Child Protection Act in 2003 as a primary mechanism to safeguard the rights of the child regardless of their gender. The Government also initiated a process that led to the establishment of children and youth councils throughout the country, where girls can express their views and make their voices heard. Thailand also achieved the target of eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005. The most recent progress in this regard is the passage of the Gender Equality Act in March 2015, which just came into effect on September 9.
Thailand’s commitment to promote girls development and our long-standing cooperation with Peace Corps help support the implementation of Let Girls Learn Initiative in the country. One notable project is “Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World).” The purpose of Camp GLOW is to encourage and empower young women to become active citizens by building their self-esteem and confidence. Increasing their self-awareness, and developing their skills in goal setting, assertiveness, and career and life planning. Camp GLOW Thailand provides three female youth, and one adult counterpart from at least 10 different communities around Thailand, with an exciting opportunity to develop team-building, leadership and self-esteem skills.
Peace Corps Volunteers and their counterparts will lead sessions on gender equality, leadership, and volunteerism. This year, the focus of the camp is on building a strong curriculum that can be easily replicated in camps throughout the country. The participants will take back all the materials and plan to replicate them in their communities through shorter 1-3 day camps or after-school clubs. (Source: Peace Corps Thailand)
The First Lady recently reaffirmed her commitment to promote girls’ education at the Global Citizen Festival in September in New York targeting 62 million girls around the world who are not yet in school. Thailand will continue to partner with the United States and other partners to ensure that girls are not left behind in our development efforts.
11 October 2015