On the auspicious occasion of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s 85th birthday this year as well as the celebration of the national Mother’s Day on August 12, all staff of Gender and Development Research Institute (GDRI) under the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women (APSW) are humbly wishing her Majesty Queen a healthy and pleasure birthday.
We would like to take this opportunity to show high reverence to her generosity, effort and contribution to promote the status of all Thai women. Her Majesty Queen Sirikit has been not only a supreme model in all aspects for Thai women, but her magnificent dedication in promoting welfare and well-being of deprived villagers through numerous projects focusing on incomes generation from craft-jobs particularly benefiting rural women has been everlasting admiration by all of us.
Since the declaration of International Women’s Year in 1975, the whole world has been made aware of the three United Nations recommendations, namely;
- Women need to be given greater opportunities for development
- Women need to have equal rights and employment opportunities as men
- Women need to be encouraged to promote peace and development programs.
Following UN Decade of Women, women’s roles in Thailand was made visible again from the acknowledgement of equal rights between men and women in the Constitution beginning form 1974 to the current 2017 constitution. Coupled by the ratification of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in September 1985, the rights and contributory roles of women have been gradually recognized in all spheres, taking account of economic, social, and political development of the country.
Despite the legal framework promoting gender equality was evidently in a better place, including the recently enforcement of the 2015 Gender Equality Act, however deep-rooted cultural belief and gender stereotyped tradition remains discriminatory component against women in various dimensions, particularly in political arena.
As a result of the higher status and active roles of Thai women which is an outcome mainly from support by numerous superb Majesty Queen Sirikit’s initiatives and projects, together with a collective effort of women’s right organization advocacy movement, the latest 2017 Constitution promulgated on April 6 this year has enshrined several key provisions protecting the rights and interests of Mother, elderly, and vulnerable groups, such as under the Rights and Liberties of the Thai People, it states:
Section 48. The rights of a mother during the period prior to and after giving birth shall be protected and assisted as provided by law. A person who is over sixty years of age and has insufficient income for subsistence and an indigent person shall have the right to receive appropriate aids from the State as provided by law.
This year, although we all are in deep sadness from the pass-away of our beloved Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, we are still grateful to celebrate the Mother’s Day and bless the Queen’s Sirikit’s Birthday… Long Live our Beloved Queen.