Magazine article Geographical

Women on the Front Line

Magazine article Geographical

Women on the Front Line

Article excerpt

Across Thailand, women are playing an increasingly important role in human rights and environmental justice campaigns on the ground. However, often this action brings with it serious social and economic implications to their families, livelihoods and communities.

More and more women are taking to the front line of protests against armed police and army officers in order to prevent the possibility of violence breaking out. As the current Commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand, Angkhana Neelaphaijit, explains 'women are used as a human wall' between male protestors and police.

Sadly, this doesn't always mean that violence involving females does not occur. In November 2012, two women were found murdered in southern Thailand just 800 metres from the guarded entrance to their community, a village surrounded by a palm oil plantation. The women were part of a small rural group fighting for their land rights against a palm oil company that was illegally occupying the land and which allegedly used violence to try and remove the villagers. …

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