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Women in Thailand

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Title: Women in Thailand  
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Subject: History of Thailand, Judiciary of Thailand, Women in Asia, Gender roles in Sri Lanka, Women in North Korea
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Women in Thailand

Women in Thailand
A female nurse in Thailand
Gender Inequality Index
Value 0.360 (2012)
Rank 66th
Maternal mortality (per 100,000) 48 (2010)
Women in parliament 15.7% (2012)
Females over 25 with secondary education 29.0% (2010)
Women in labour force 63.8% (2011)
Global Gender Gap Index[1]
Value 0.6928 (2013)
Rank 65th out of 136
A female vendor in Thailand

Women in Thailand were among the first women in Asia who were granted the right to vote in 1932. They are underrepresented in Thai politics.[2][3] Yingluck Shinawatra, a woman, has been Prime Minister since 2011. The roles of women in Thailand's national development has not yet been fully established. Factors that affect women's participation in the socio-economic field include "inadequate gender awareness in the policy and planning process" and social stereotyping.[4]


  • Politics 1
  • Business 2
  • Marriage 3
  • Women's Rights through Time 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8


Despite of the absence of legal limitations to women participating in the politic arena of Thailand, the factors that impeded the rise of women in political activities include structural barriers, cultural impediments, lower educational attainments, lower socio-economic status,[4][5] and power-sharing issues with the opposite sex.[4] It was only on June 5, 1949 that Orapin Chaiyakan became the first Thai woman to be elected to hold a post in the House of Representatives[2] of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Thailand.[3]


In the realm of entrepreneurship, Thailand’s female population comprised 47% of the country’s workforce, which makes up the highest percentage of working women in the region of the Asia-Pacific. However, these women are also confronted by hiring discrimination and gender inequality in relation to wages because of being "concentrated in lower-paying jobs".[4][5] In relation to women’s welfare, somen women of Thailand are prone to becoming victims of spousal or marital rape, human trafficking, prostitution, and other forms of domestic abuse and sex crimes.[4][5]


According to the National Statistical Office of Thailand, female Thais marry at an earlier age than male Thais, and that 24% of Thai households have women identified as "heads of households".[4] In 2007, The New York Times reported that after the Vietnam War, Thailand became the main rest and recreation and sex tourism destination of male foreigners, resulting in some marriages with Thai women. Among those who establish such marriages are men from Europe and the United States seeking companionship and economic relief particularly during retirement age. The Thai women, on the other hand, enter into the marriages in order to redeem themselves from their former life as prostitutes, from abandonment by former partners, and as an escape from "poverty and unhappiness", but not all Thai women who entered into this type of marriage were former prostitutes.[6]

Women's Rights through Time

In Thailand, women’s rights according to labor, laws require that men and women get paid on the amount of work they do. In the 1977 constitution women were required to receive equal rights and protections however some inequalities remain in the law. There are no laws prohibiting women from holding office however there are very few women holding office. The biggest problem for gender inequality is when it comes domestic violence and trafficking. Sexual harassment became illegal in 1998 however there are few reported cases and very few that are prosecuted because it is so hard to prosecute these abusers. Domestic laws have still yet to become enact in the constitution and the requirement for evidence of domestic abuse makes it near impossible to prosecute. A girl’s education took place mostly in the house and it was on domestic work while a boys usually went to a Buddhist monastery for education. However, education overall for business and careers are lacking in theSoutheast Asia. [7]

See also


  1. ^ "The Global Gender Gap Report 2013". World Economic Forum. pp. 12–13. 
  2. ^ a b Sopchokchai, Orapin. Female Members of Parliament, Women's Political Participation at the National Level, Women's Political Participation in Thailand, TDRI Quarterly Review, Vol. 13, No. 4, December 1998, pp. 11-20
  3. ^ a b Iwanaga, Kazuki. Women in Politics in Thailand, Working Paper No. 14, Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University, Sweden, 2005
  4. ^ a b c d e f Key Figures, Gender Statistics, Social Statistics Division, National Statistical Office, Bangkok.
  5. ^ a b c Women's rights situation in Thailand
  6. ^ Bernstein, Richard. Variations on a theme: Thai women and foreign husbands, Letter from Thailand, Asia-Pacific, The New York Times, August 12, 2007
  7. ^ Thailand Culture­Th/Thailand.html

Further reading

  • Macan-Markar, Marwaan. Battered Women, No Longer Alone, Rights-Thailand,, November 24, 2005
  • Praparnun, Yada Gender Sensitivity & Accountability in Thai Government Policy Formulation, Implementation & Evaluation from an Historical Perspective, Paper for presentation at the IAFFE 2009 conference in Boston, USA

External links

  • Women's Organisations Thailand
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