Women on Web Thailand, Tamtang group and independent rights activists
Event: Access to Safe Abortion
Background and situation analysis:
Abortion in Thailand is linked to social stigma imposed on women who have sex outside marriage. Therefore, young women who have to go through abortion encounter more complicated social challenges than middle-age and working women because they still live with their family. Many young women who have unexpected pregnancy are expelled from school or disowned by their family. A large number of young women decide to have abortion too late or try to end the pregnancy by themselves in secrecy due to fear of social punishment. It is a common practice in Thai culture, as in many Asian cultures, that daughters are taught to have a strong bond with their family. Many young women come to abortion clinics escorted by their parents. The family support, or lack of, could have a great effect on young women’s life going through an abortion in Thailand. This group of young women and their families has the great potential of becoming powerful allies in creating safer social space for young women in accessing a safe abortion, a decision which could save their lives, literally and post-trauma-wise.
- To actively and positively communicate with and empower young women who have had abortion and people who love and care for them but are unsure of how to support them, e.g. families and friends.
- To create a public space for women who have had abortion to voice out and to include their voices in the mass media.
Target groups :
- media: 20-30 people, composing of TV news channels and newspaper, both Thai and English.
- NGO allies: 40 people
- Grassroots community leaders: 7-10 people
- Policy makers: 2-3 people
- Youth : 20 people
“I have had abortion.
My daughter has had abortion.
My sister has had abortion.
My friend has had abortion.”
… (and so on)
“Abortion: There are many sides of the women’s stories”
The intended meaning of the messages is to create awareness that there are a large number of women who had been through abortion at least once in their lives (1 out of 10). This simple but powerful message aims to empower women by dissolving the sense of alienation and encourage family and friends to support each other.
The signs and banners would convey these messages in a warm tone. The atmosphere will be controlled at all time to be positive and non-judgmental and to give neutral and accurate information about access to safe abortion. There will be no accusation of any parties, only facts, stories and information.
Strategies and planned activities:
The activities will take place indoor and outdoor at Bangkok Art and Cultural Center (BACC). The venue is a strategic place as it situates right in the middle of commute at Siam Square Intersection and across MBK shopping center while being a semi-governmental center which hosts modern art and cultural events. Picture 1 shows the outdoor setting of the venue.