For the past 20 years, the Gender and Development Research Institute, which operates within the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women, has made numerous efforts towards achieving gender equality. GDRI has focused it’s advocacy campaigns in raising awareness about women’s rights and ultimately creating gender equality in society.
GDRI’s campaigns aim to spread awareness about women’s issues and gender inequalities while also promoting Constitituional reform that guarentees women’s rights.
The work of GDRI utilizes and Action Research approach to gather information about gender that is then used to create awareness campaigns, lobbying for policies, and conduct gender sensitive trainings throughout Thailand.
1992-1997: One of GDRI’s initial goals was to improve the status of women workers in all sectors of labor. Women have long been contributors of Thailand’s economic development, but did not recieve equal treatment to their male counterparts. GDRI has created projects proving significance of women’s work in advancing Thailand’s economy, which lead to an improvement in the welfare and protection of women workers across all fields. Through this work, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare has also mainstreamed policies that include women employees.
“Twenty Years of GDRI and Beyond”:
During the past 20 years of our operations Gender and Development Research Institute, a division of Association for the Promotion of Status of Women has reflected the efforts in many ways and means to strengthen equality between women and men. In order to ensure women’s rights and equality, GDRI has focused its campaign to create awareness about women’s rights and gender equality assurance according to the framework of the Constitution. This is to ensure that the Constitution is fully enforced by using gender responsive information, action research, positive thinking and networking system as implementing instruments.
For the past 20 years, the Gender and Development Research Institute, which operates under Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women, has made numerous efforts towards acheiving gender equality. GDRI has focused it’s advocacy campaigns in raising awareness about women’s rights and ensuring equality between men and women. Followings are example of our effort.
1992 Thailand woman labor force started exercising bargaining power to improve its status.
1995 Campaign to ensure women’s rights in Thai Constitution.
1992, 1995, 1996, 1997 Gender mainstreaming – Proposing women’s issues in the Thai political and administrative scene.
2001 Gender mainstreaming achievement in Village and Town Community Management Fund.
Since 2003 Campaign to amend Sub-District Administration Act.
“Along the Road to Gender Equality”:
Frameworks are as follows.
- We work to ensure that gender equality is guaranteed in the Constitution.
- We try to ensure that political parties have woman policy
- We work toward government’s woman policy and mechanism or special measures for woman.
From 1991 to present GDRI has worked to ensure that gender equality has legal and policy assurance, societal level assurance and organization level assurance. We try to publicize the issue to ensure that there is perception, knowledge and understanding in the society. Every organization is encouraged to have structural units, mission and measures conducive to women. At the same time people in the organization with knowledge and understanding and skills to operate the promotion of woman development.
When it comes to implementation, there have been more works to do.
- Modification of social attitudes
- The society is aware of variety of woman’s roles and capability, from behind the scene supporter to leader of change. We have published a book “Directory of Woman Leader for Change”, which contains biography and success of women in different fields. We also award Outstanding Woman in different professional areas on International Woman’s Day, as an annual event.
“Raising woman issue in politics and administration mainstream”:
There needs to be assurance at policy level that
- Women are involved in the administration/management and determine the direction of development
- Sexual harassment protection for woman labour and sex business.
- Elimination of discrimination against women.
In practice, there is a monitoring on woman policy of each political party. We organize meetings for political parties to declare their policies statement. We also monitor if each party support women to actively participate in politics or not.
- We organized a meeting for political party to declare policy statements, using number of woman voters to encourage political parties to declare woman policy.
- We strengthen the awareness in gender issues by publicizing articles through media.
- We have reinforced awareness on woman issues by producing leaflets, articles and open letters for the public to ask political parties about woman policy. This included campaigning for voters to support political parties that have woman policies.
“Campaign for women to run for an election in decision making position”:
- At local level like village headperson or sub-district council members, we provide leadership skill training to ensure self confidence in running for election.
- At national level, we campaign for women to run for an election in 1995-1996.
- We also support for women to be appointed to decision making level.
- We have coordinated with our networks to propose a gender proportion in sub-district council. This marathon campaign has run for many years. First, our network has proposed an amendment in Section 24 of Sub-District Administration Act of B.E. 2542 (1999). Later, we have proposed to amend Section 45 of Sub-District Administration Act of B.E. 2545 (2002).
- We also study the career path of female executives in civil service sector and propose an approach to increase female executives in the sector.
“Upgrading Status of Female Labour”:
- Compile information on female labour in top ten earning export industries. Then we carried out a study and publicized roles of female labours, presenting the study results in various conferences. Female labour’s role as economic development contributor has been recognized by the public more and more.
- We have presented key issue on the status of female labour in the process of setting up Ministry of Labour, so that there is a structure and mission favourable to female labour as well as female labour protection. Female employee then has the rights for 90 days maternity leave with pay.
- We organize a meeting of networks and set up Woman in Politics Monitoring Organization.
“Ensuring Women’s Rights in the Constitution”:
- We coordinated with Women and Constitution Network to campaign for women to run an election. At the same time, we organized meetings to raise awareness in gender sensitivity. There were campaigns for stipulating gender equality in the Constitution, mechanism to guarantee gender equality and temporary measure to promote equality.
- As a result, gender equality has been stipulated in the Constitution of B.E. 2535, 2540 and 2550
“Gender Mainstreaming Capacity Building”:
- GDRI believes that staff is the important mechanism to drive for gender equality in public and private sector. So, we are engaged in strengthening knowledge and understanding in gender dimension for staff in the organization. We develop courses and organize trainings/workshop for different groups of staff in public and private sectors like community leaders or local administration executives, for example.
- We also carried out studies and operational researches on gender equality and violence against women. Gender mainstreaming concept has always been publicized to raise public awareness.
“Gender dimension in Village & Community Fund management”:
- Vigorously campaign for woman’s role in managing the fund. When the fund management regulation has been announced, there has been no woman role in it.
- GDRI submitted protesting letter to H.E. Prime Minister in the Official Opening Ceremony.
- There is an amendment to fund management regulation in B.E. 2544 stipulating the equal proportion of men and women committee members.