Women’s groups appeal for safety in public places for women
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, 23 women’s civic groups In the three southernmost border provinces issued a statement appealing to all armed groups in the restive region to stop all forms of violence in public places to ensure safe space for women.
About 500 women representing the 23 women’s groups staged a march through the streets in Yala’s Muang district to highlight the danger of violence posed to women in the region in their daily life.
Statistics show that during the past 11 years, altogether 431 women were killed and 1,651 others were injured in violent incidents perpetrated by armed elements in the Deep South. For the first seven months of last year, 32 women were killed and over 60 injured. Of these, some were students, pregnant or were making merits when they were attacked and some were disabled afterward.
Of the 32 deaths during the first seven months of last year, 25 are Buddhists and the rest Muslims. The victims are of various occupations. They include students, bank staff, farmers, local officials and defence volunteers.
Mrs Patimor Por-etae-da-or, director of We Peace group, whose family became a victim of the violence said the pains from the loss of loved ones have made her strong mentally and physically.
She said women should have access to knowledge about their rights to safety and should read some law. Women, she added, want to have safe space on the streets and in the markets where they usually visit to do their daily chores.
Mrs Saveeya Musa, an assistant headman of Tambon Tha Sab in Yala’s Muang district said Buddhists and Muslims have been co-existing peacefully for decades in their communities in Tha Sab. When a violent incident took place, they turned to one another and help each other to go through the hard time, she added.
The statement issued by the 23 women’s groups on November 25 called for the followings: all armed groups to stop violence in public places to spare women from death or injury; to resolve their conflict through political means and to stop using arms in a way which may harm women.
The groups also called for all stakeholders to participate in discussions to find peaceful way out for the armed conflict and to create safe places for women.