Thailand govt offers course for local women who marry foreigners

German Ralf Wacker and his wife Ploynisa Duangdararungrueng pose for a photo with their dogs at a park near their house in Ayutthaya province, Thailand. Source: Reuters

THAILAND’s Social Development and Human Security Ministry is offering a free course for Thai women who marry foreigners to cope with the difficulties of interracial marriage, reports Reuters

It also trains the women to avoid potential scams that could lead to trafficking when moving abroad with their partners.

The course, paid for by the ministry, will teach women how to conduct themselves, about the laws of their destination country, and how to prepare before going, said Patcharee Arayakul, the director of the ministry’s division of gender equality.

Dusadee Ayuwat, associate professor at the department of sociology and anthropology at Khon Kaen University, told Bangkok Post the course covers “legal rights, how to seek help through relevant Thai authorities, as well as exploring issues of culture shock”.

One woman who attended the day-long course said she found it useful, especially when she learned about the legal aspects of living abroad.

Some women view interracial marriages as a gateway to a more promising economic status. Source: Shutterstock/Arjan Ard Studio

While Thai society is said to be more accepting of interracial marriages, some women view them as a gateway to a more promising economic status, the ministry said.

A 2004 government study – the latest on such marriages – showed that more than 15,000 women from one of the poorest regions, northeastern Isan, had married foreign men, and sent a monthly total of THB122 million (US$3.6 million) home to their families.

SEE ALSO: AirAsia trains staff to look out for human traffickers 

Dusadee said some women believed marrying Westerners promised a better life and financial security, which has proven to be a misconception.

She said many Western men who marry Thai women may appear to be richer than they actually are because of inexpensive living costs in Thailand.