Rooted in an agrarian society, culture and economy, Thai women have played vital roles throughout the kingdom’s history. Particularly at times of war, women tended to agricultural production as well as related activities and secured food supplies.
In contemporary Thai society, women enjoy the same constitutional rights and share civic responsibilities as men. Civil society has had women actively involved in terms of suffrage, voluntary work for the benefit of society, culture and environment, and formal education, at all levels, since early in the 20th Century.
There is ample evidence that parents, in bringing up their children, have instilled in their daughters a pronounced need for achievement. The result is omnipresent.
Women work as teachers at all levels of the educational system, from kindergarten to university. Likewise, health services and medical care are provided by women, to large extents and at high intensity. Many Thai medical doctors practising in Thailand and abroad have gained a high reputation for their professional skills and human relations. In regional national, and international arenas, women have joined men in building Thailand’s reputation as a serious competitor in sports. For example, in the 28th Olympic Games, August 2004, hosted by Greece, of the four
Thai women entries for weight-lifting, two won gold medals, and the other two a silver and a bronze respectively. Another woman, with only six years of training, won a bronze medal in Tae-kwon-do. Because of the superb performance of the woman athletes, Thailand came out 25th among over 200 participating countries.
Scientific research work and fine art as well as performing arts are domains where woman scholars and artists have excelled. Thailand’s bureaucracy offers career paths to women leading up to the highest echelon, both in the domestic and foreign civil services. The armed
forces have women soldiers in their ranks and files, rising to the rank of general. Likewise, women perform important roles in organizations that are in charge of public administration as well as maintaining law and order. In the 1990’s, women were able to become district officers and governors, positions which had previously been monopolized by men due to traditional thinking and belief that women would not be able to be “tough” in dealing with violence-prone criminals and gangsters. This tradition and belief have been dispelled through experience
The competitive undercurrent between genders becomes evident in Thailand’s economy. More than half the country’s workforce engaged in agriculture are women, given the fact that a large proportion of the adult, able-bodied men have sought and found work abroad to boost family
income through their remittances. Marketing agricultural produce is largely in the hands of woman traders, both in wholesale and retail trade.
Commerce-at-large, including finance, banking, insurance, export and import, is a segment of the economy with professional women ensuring best practice, and in increasing numbers holding key positions.
The transition from an agriculturebased to an industrializing country could not possibly have succeeded without the work input, dedication and diligence of today’s large female labour force, both at the shop floor and in top managerial positions.
The likely singular achievement of Thailand’s professional women is the establishment and development of the country’s transportation, hospitality and tourism industry. Its resounding success has become the engine of Thailand’s economic recovery. It stands to reason that women, given their constructive and productive roles, have entered politics as candidates in elections at the various levels of the democratic system, from subdistrict councils to national parliament, where those elected serve as people’s representatives. Over recent decades, women have held ministerial posts in the Royal Thai Government or served as members of the Kingdom’s Senate.
Taken from: Thailand: Traits and Treasures. The National Identity Board, Royal Thai Government 2005.
Please note that we cannot take any responsibility for the correctness of the data shown on this Web site. We try our very best, but we depend on universities, their Web sites, and fellow students and lecturers, to get updates when ever programs, conditions, or tuition fees change.