So, I am three months in and so far it has flown by. In no time at all I will be back in Australia thinking, where did all the time go!
A few highlights over the past few weeks are as follows. I have had a national radio interview with Rhianna Patrick from the ABC in which I spoke about my current placement and projects. (if you want to listen, click here: I am at the 7:40 minute mark), caught up with La Trobe alumni from UNESCO and ChildFund international, been on a work trip to Pattaya, celebrated International Women’s Day at UN ESCAP and underwent a training session and workshop by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs (OCHA). On a personal level I also celebrated three years of dating with Luke, had my first trip to a Thai doctor, went to the Italian Opera and successfully completed the Pilot Program of Dear Cris.
International Women’s Day
On International Women’s Day (March 8th) I had the privilege of attending an interactive dialogue on the theme of “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”. This commemoration was organised by the United Nations Asia-Pacific Regional Coordination Mechanism's Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (RCM TWG-GEEW), co-chaired by ESCAP and UN Women. This panel discussion featured speakers from government, UN agencies and civil society who were all working towards women empowerment and gender equality. A personal highlight for me was hearing Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP and Ms. Fiza Farhan, Member of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment share. Following this event, I also attended "Ring the Bell for Gender Equality 2018" which was a collaboration between the Stock Exchange of Thailand, the Embassy of Sweden and the UN Women Asia and the Pacific. Both of these events discussed the need to advance gender equality in businesses and the economic benefits that would follow when gender parity is achieved in both a rural and urban setting. A sobering statistic was shared at both events, that if we do not adapt a greater sense of urgency it will take another 100 years to achieve gender equality.
The workshop by OCHA was delivered by the Editor of ReliefWeb, Yuan-Kwan Chan. In the workshop, we were given a greater understanding of what ReliefWeb does and the current impact it has within the Humanitarian Sector. It was also highlighted, as growing professionals it is critical to stay up to date and informed.
ReliefWeb is the leading humanitarian information source on global crises and disasters and is the digital service of OCHA. One aspect of what ReliefWeb does is enables humanitarian workers to make informed decisions and plan effective responses through collecting and delivering information such as reports, maps and infographics from trusted and reputable sources. Another aspect of ReliefWeb is its job listings and training programs section which aims and provides resources to help humanitarians build skills and explore new career opportunities.
This past month has reinforced the sense of urgency in that if we are to successfully meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, everyone needs to step up and work together to create long-lasting change.
I am looking forward to what is in store as I move in to the later stages of my placement. I am also quite excited to see my family next week as they fly to Bangkok for a brief visit.
All the best!
Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives at UN ESCAP
Dr. Miwa Kato (Regional Director, UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific) giving a keynote address at the event 'Ring the Bell for Gender Equality 2018.'
A panel discussion that I attended with a focus on the #MeToo movement in Thailand, run by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand.
Luke and I at Wat Pho, a Buddhist temple which is home to the 'Reclining Buddha.'
Visiting Koh Larn, which is an island just off the coast of Pattaya