A woman in a pink blouse and brown hair looks into the camera, in the background there is a river.

Breaking Chains, Building Dreams

Born in a small village in the North of Thailand, Ms. Prakairat Tandee faced the harsh reality of gender inequality from a young age. In her community, women were traditionally confined to household chores, with limited opportunities for education or career advancement. However, through the support of the Center for Girls Foundation (CFGF) and Diakonia, Prakairat was able to break free from the chains of gender stereotypes, becoming a pioneering female leader in her community.

Reflecting on her journey, Prakairat shared: "Everything began the day I returned to my hometown from Bangkok and started working for my community." Her eyes lit up as she reminisced about the past. 

As a young girl, Prakairat learned the traditional roles expected of women: domestic tasks, reserve, a service mindset, and parental care. Men, however, enjoyed greater freedoms. Unaware of this disparity, she observed other girls in her village treading the same path. After high school, she moved to Bangkok for work but returned home due to limited job prospects with her educational background. Back home, helping her parents sell food, she reconnected with her community. 

Embracing a New Path

In her village, Prakairat found her calling to serve her community, encouraged by those around her to join the leadership team. She began her journey by becoming an assistant to a village headman. Despite her initial lack of confidence and public speaking skills, Prakairat worked hard to pursue a bachelor’s degree and attended various workshops to acquire leadership skills and knowledge. 

Prakairat and villagers planted grass to prevent riverbank erosion in the village's public areas.

Her turning point moment was the involvement in the ‘Women for Change’ project, a collaboration between Diakonia and CFGF. The program equipped her with knowledge and skills in women’s rights, leadership, supporting victims of violence, public speaking, and gender equality. This experience reinforced her belief in the capabilities of women, motivating her to seek a leadership role in her community.

A woman with brown hair in an orange t-shirt is looking in to the camera and smiling.

“I hope to continue making a difference in the future and to be a role model for the young generation, especially the girls in my community.”

Prakairat Tandee

Empowering Women for Change

Her dedication resulted in her election as one of four village headwomen in the Chiang Khong district.  

Prakairat recalls: "The training transformed my perspective and actions. 'Women can do it. Women can create change.' This is the thought and feeling that I have carried with me throughout the Women for Change Project. It motivates me and other women leaders. When we believe that, our lives change, and we are able to accomplish everything."

The head women of the Chiang Khong Women’s Council, from left to right: Prakairat Tundee, Salinee Suwannet, Salakjit Nuansai and Chanany Jokaew.

Continuing her collaboration with CFGF, Prakairat now serves as Vice President of the Women Council in the Chiang Khong district, furthering her impact through the "Social Empowerment for Gender Equality" project, supported by Diakonia. Her role in expanding the Women for Change project across Chiang Rai highlights her evolution from a reserved community member to a confident leader, inspiring many.  

Looking ahead, Prakairat remains committed to empowering women and advocating for gender equality, saying: "I hope to continue making a difference in the future and to be a role model for the young generation, especially the girls in my community."

About the partnership with Diakonia

The Center for Girls Foundation (CFGF) has been partnering with Diakonia since 2015. Apart from supporting project funding, Diakonia provides capacity-building in areas such as conflict sensitivity, a gender mainstreaming toolbox, finance, and internal control. Diakonia also fosters synergy by connecting CFGF and other stakeholders to network, learn, and exchange knowledge on thematic areas such as gender equality and ethnicity.

A portrait of Wanweena Tangsathianraphap

Wanweena Tangsathianraphap

Regional Communication Officer Asia

Send Email