MMN Celebrates 2024 International Women’s Day in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Mekong Migration Network (MMN), in collaboration with the MAP Foundation, Department of Women’s Studies at CMU, FORWARD, Human Rights and Development Foundation, The Life Skill Development Foundation, Women Workers for Justice Group, Shan Women Action Network, Ethnic People Development Foundation, Sapphic, Youth Pride, CMU Research Center for Multiculturalism and Education, Women’s League of Burma, and EMPOWER, organised an International Women’s Day event on the 8th of March 2024 at Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai, Thailand. The event saw the participation of over 300 women from different groups, such as women migrant workers, indigenous women group, women of diverse sexual orientations, women living with HIV, women sex workers, and stateless women.

During the opening speech, Ms. Sugarnta Sookpaita from the Women Workers for Justice Group stated that despite more than a century of women’s groups working towards their rights, the realisation of these rights has not progressed as envisioned, necessitating an ongoing struggle. Following that, a representative read a statement urging all segments of society to unite in supporting the articulated demands. The main content stressed the need for stakeholders to back fair access for women, particularly those from marginalized groups, promoting gender equality and human rights. The statement highlighted the participation of women in decision-making at all levels, including local, national, and international, fostering a global movement for equality and justice. It also urges the media to produce comprehensive communications on the human rights of women and gender-diverse individuals to end the stigmatization and reproduction of stereotyping against women and gender-diverse individuals that lead to discrimination based on gender, alongside the need for legal changes and continued government commitment to human rights principles in Thailand. Afterward, the statement was handed over to a representative from the Chiang Mai Provincial Social Development and Human Security Office.

Moreover, a Myanmar woman representative who migrated to Thailand shared the challenges faced by Myanmar women amid political conflicts, economic instability, and coercion by the military government while residing in their home country. She expressed hope for a better life and the possibility of returning to her homeland in the future. At the end of the event, participants came together to light the Freedom Candles and engage in song and dance to celebrate 2024 International Women’s Day.