The role and rights of Thai woman from past to present

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This article was written by Group 2 in Srinakharinwirot University, as part of the Wikigender University Programme.

The Role and Rights of Thai Woman from Past to Present

Source: 16 July 2012, Thailand, from:

From past to present in Thailand, Thai women are not equally accepted in society. Women's role in society is often viewed as less valuable, and they are often deprived of equal social, economic and political rights[1]. This is despite the fact that both women and men should be enjoying the same rights regardless of gender, age, nationality and religion. All of these are naturally significant of the human status and cannot be separated or lost by any procedure. Today's discrimination against women is anchored in society since the ancient times, where men were the heads of households. Nowadays, women get higher education, skills and play important social, economic and political roles. Women's rights are more respected and protected in the developed world and in many other countries.

However, and despite a decrease, women's rights violations remain widespread. Because of the structure of politics, the economy, discriminatory social norms, values and culture which view men as the leaders, women continue to be the victims of stereotyping in Thai society. The views of the Thai society often assimnilates men as leaders and women as followers: women are often the ones doing the housework, including cooking and looking after the children. If women work outside their home, they also have duties at home. In some cases, women have to face difficult situations, such as polygamy.[2] This situation increases the number of divorces, which can be complemented by other factors such as domestic violence, income-related problems and other marriage-related issues. Such difficult conditions for women add to the list of problems. For example, women are not allowed to use their surname and must use their husband's surname instead.[3]; there are also issues of political participation; the role of the government and private placements, as women generally place smaller amounts of money than men.[4]

Divorce and Marriage in Tailand: some figures

Source: 16 July 2012, Thailand, from:

The following graph shows how the number of marriages has declined since 1997, whereas the number of divorces continues to increase:, [6]

Source: 16 July 2012, Thailand, from:

Trafficking of women

Trafficking in women and children is also an issue, as reported by the U.S. Department of State, [7] who identified that Thailand is a country of transit as well as a destination country for trafficked women and children. Trafficking of Thai women and children has decreased over the last few years, except when it is linked to the tourism industry in Thailand.[8] There are numerous tactical patterns and strategies that lead to women and children being trafficked: for example, women as young as 15 years old and older women too are encouraged to work as waitresses at a salary of ten thousand bahts(250 euros) and later they are deceived to work as prostitutes in a foreign country; if women refuse to do so, they are mistreated.[9]

Provisions of the Constitution of Women's Rights

Women represent more than half of the world population. The latest information showed that there are more women than men.[10] Women's role as mothers and carers is crucial for society. But from the past until the present, the status of women is still not equal with the status of men. Women in Thailand are deprived of social, economic and political opportunities, even though Thailand now has a first woman Prime Minister. Therefore there are some provisions of women rights. Internationally, there are conventions such as the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, since 1979. Thailand also endorses this convention.[11] Women are protected so that instead of being discriminated against, they have equal rights in employment, wage, social security, decision-making when it comes to family planning - how many children they would like to have - and the education and upbringing of their children. Women can also run for election, perform official duties at different levels. In addition, there are some special measures contributing to protect women such as services for pregnant women.

In the 2007 Thai Constitution [12], in particular, there are many sections that protect women rights, such as section 30 stipulating that both men and women are equal according to the law. Besides there are many other sections that serve and protect women's rights - such as employment rights - and women must be represented when laws are drafted about women's rights.

“Although at present there are many laws protecting women's rights, situations where women appear stereotyped in the mass media still occur. This reflects the fundamental values and attitudes of Thai society at present, such as the assumption that men have more important roles - which is also an assumption from the past. We think that one way to increase women's status in society is by raising awareness of women's role as mothers and carers for society in general”

See also


  1. Title of book/Author (2010), Title of article, 16 July 2012 Thailand, available at:
  2. Author/Title of Book?, 2011, "Mental health of mothers working outside the home", 16 July 2012, Thailand, available at:
  3. Author/Title of Book?, 2010, Title of article, 10 July 2012, Thailand, available at:
  4. (2012)Author/Title of Book?, Title of article, 11 July 2012, Thailand, available at:
  5. The table shows the divorce rate in Thailand (2012), 7 July 2012 Thailand, available at:
  6. Graph marriage divorce Thailand: Thailand, available at:
  7. U.S. Department of State (2011), 2010 National Human Rights Commission of Thailand Report: Thailand, available at:
  8. TITLE OF BOOK/AUTHOR(2011), TITLE OF ARTICLE,11 July 2012 Thailand, available at:
  9. TITLE OF BOOK/AUTHOR(2012), TITLE OF ARTICLE, 16 August 2012, Thailand, available at:
  10. TITLE OF BOOK/Author (2011), Title of article, 10 July 2012 Thailand, available at:
  11. Author/Title of book(2012), Title of aricle, 9 July 2012, available at:
  12. Name of constitution/title (2011), 10 July 2012 Thailand, available at:

External links

National Human Rights Commission of Thailand

Group 2


The members of ECS 485 Group 2 are:

1.Miss Sakonporn Janechawalitmongkol
2. Miss Suwimon Amatayakul
3. Miss Kochaporn Chuenurajit
4. Miss Jatuporn Kerdsap
5. Mr. Nathapol Lilitkarntakul
6. Miss Paninart Limcharoensuk
7. Mr. Saphon Udomwongrattana
8. Mr. Kritchanaphat Udompholtawee


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