Thailand is a country of indigenous diversity. It is rich in natural resources. The majority of Indigenous peoples live in the highlands. They have deep spiritual, cultural, social, and economic connections to their land and resources.
Government policies have caused issues for people living in villages located in areas allocated as national parks and no-hunting zones. Access to their traditional land has been blocked with some facing arrest, involuntary relocation and the confiscation of farmland.
Indigenous women are responsible for the family’s food production, including the day-to-day maintenance of crops, livestock, weaving, domestic duties and fetching water. They are stewards of seeds and agricultural biodiversity. However their participation in decision making doesn’t reflect their important role. Community mechanisms for protecting resources tend to be male led.
How we’re responding
Cord is working with its local partners to strengthen women’s skills and create opportunities for them to speak out and share their wealth of knowledge. At the same time we’re working within the community structures to challenge negative stereotypes that hold women back. Relations between communities and local authorities are also being improved through regular interaction which builds trust over time. This will improve the way that conflicts are resolved.
Hope on the horizon
Thousands of families around the world face the threat of losing their land, and with it, their homes and means to survive. But hope is uniting these poor communities; they are rising up against injustice. And you can stand shoulder to shoulder with them.