Thai women legislators feel excluded in constitutional planning

World Today

Thai students display placards as they demonstrate in front of the military court in Bangkok on March 16, 2015. Dozens of students protested in Bangkok in support of four civilians who appeared at a military court over a peaceful demonstration last month, the latest rally in defiance of martial law in the junta-ruled nation. AFP PHOTO / PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL

Women in Thailand have been voicing their dissatisfaction that they are being excluded from government and that women’s interests will be poorly represented in the new constitution.

The concerns came after one of the few women involved in drafting the constitution walked off the committee, saying her male colleagues refused to listen to her suggestions.

Ticha Na Nakorn was one of the three women on the 36-seat constitution drafting committee. Last week she resigned saying her efforts to include more rights for women in the new Thai constitution were doomed.

Thailand’s current military-appointed legislature only has 10 female representatives in 200 members, or about one representative for every 3 million women in the country. Of the senior posts in government, only the Tourism Minister is a woman.

There are few places in Thailand where women aren’t women working side by side with men, but an equal share of the burden doesn’t mean an equal share of the reward.

At one building site, as in most places, salaries for women are a third less than their male co-workers.

“I want them to take better care of us, to look at our situation in more detail because sometimes we are treated worse than men,” a female construction worker said.

However, in private sector, Thai woman have shown they’re incredibly resourceful and resilient. While the situation has changed for a few at the top of their professions, the lack of representation in public life leaves most at a huge disadvantage.

“I think that it’s going to be a long fight. We have laws that grant equality between men and women, but in practice that never happens,” Sriphrai Nontri, staff of Rangsit Labour Union said.

Report by CCTV News.