PM prepared to push forward with women´s development fund

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UDON THANI, 23 February 2012 – The government has confirmed its stance on the establishment of the Women’s Development Fund while the Law Reform Committee (LRC) has proposed that the Prime Minister take the issue into reconsideration.

During a video conference with provincial governors concerning the policy of the Women’s Development Fund, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra pointed out that the fund is part of the government’s policy to encourage collaboration among all sectors in promoting the acceptance of women’s role and gender equality in the Thai society. The PM stated that women play an important role in the family institution and help drive the economy, as well as complement various dimensions of the society. However, the inequality between males and females has deprived women of an opportunity to take part in economic, social and political development.

On this occasion, the PM also visited women’s vocational groups in Thailand’s northeastern region, which include textile weaving and local culinary, for instance. The PM also took part in rubber tapping, which has recently become a new occupation for women.

The women’s group in Udon Thani province has expressed its gratitude to the government for establishing the Women’s Development Fund, which will create more opportunities, occupations and income for women in the village.

Meanwhile, LRC Chairman Kanit Na Nakorn is prepared to submit a request to the Prime Minister to reconsider the implementation of this project. According to him, the project which requires a budget as large as 7.7 billion baht should have been supported by an Act of Parliament, not merely a Regulation of the Prime Minister’s Office as in current practice. Additionally, he said that the fund will unnecessarily add to the existing debt of the country and the people since loans will be acquired to set up the capital of the fund. He added that there are already many organizations and financial institutions which provide loans for women. Thus, the government should work to make these options accessible to needy women.