Special Report: Thai Women’s Day

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Although women have played bigger roles in the society in recent decades, gender inequalities and other disadvantages are somehow perceivable. 1 August of every year is when the importance of Thai women is being highlighted amidst social promises to uphold their images with respect. 

1 August has been designated by the Cabinet as the Thai Women’s Day since 2003 after permission was granted by HM Queen Sirikit, who is highly regarded as the Mother of the Land and the pride of Thai women. August was the most preferred choice for the Day because it relates to the auspicious month of August, the birth month of HM the Queen. The cattleya “Queen Sirikit” orchid has been used as the symbol for the Thai Women’s Day.

On July 31 this year, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra allotted a 20-million-baht budget to the women’s fund of each province in an effort to uplift the quality of life for Thai women.

Prime Minister Yingluck presided over the official opening ceremony of the Women Empowerment Fund Program at Impact Muang Thong Thani. Representatives from women’s groups nationwide were invited to participate in the ceremony.

The event features several exhibitions on women’s roles to mark the Thai Women’s Day as well as an exhibition in honor of Her Majesty the Queen on the occasion of her 80th birthday anniversary this August 12.

At the opening ceremony, Ms. Yingluck authorized the transfer of 20 million baht to the bank account of the women’s fund in each of Thailand’s 77 provinces, totaling 1.54 billion baht. Throughout the program, an average of 100 million baht will be allocated to each province, or a total of 7.7 billion baht for the whole country.

The government’s Women Empowerment Fund has been set up to promote gender equality and women’s rights and to improve the economic and social conditions for Thai women. It also aims to strengthen women’s groups and provide assistance to the underprivileged in anticipation of many changes during the transition of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations into the ASEAN Community in 2015.

The Yingluck administration’s main policies include encouraging women’s participation in the country’s development, ensuring security in their lives as well as empowering their roles at all levels.