Thailand reiterates the importance of empowering women during ASEAN Summit, advancing gender equality in the digital era.
On June 26, 2020, Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha delivered a statement at the ASESAN Leaders’ Special Session on "Women’s Empowerment in the Digital Age” which is one of the related meetings of the 36th ASEAN Summit via video conference. Gist of his statement is as follows:
Prime Minister commends Vietnam for recognizing the importance of empowering women and designating "Women’s Empowerment in the Digital Age” as part of the 36th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits., which is also in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 5 on "achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls”. For Thailand, women’s empowerment has always been a key policy agenda and is part of our Women’s Development Strategy 2017-2021.
On the economic side, Thailand has actively promoted women entrepreneurship by supporting the establishment of the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network, or AWEN and AWEN-Thailand is honoured to assume the Chairmanship of AWEN from 2018 to 2020 and will soon host the Global Summit of Women 2020. Under the theme "Women: Revolutionizing Economies”.
In efforts to eliminate obstacles to the advancement of women, Thailand has enacted the Gender Equality Act 2015 to eradicate gender-based discrimination, both direct and indirect. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Thai Government introduced various measures to help women affected by the pandemic. Prime Minister reiterates that Thailand stands ready to support ASEAN on empowering women sustainably whether in economic, politic and social and ASEAN should prioritise the following issues, in order to address the common challenges we face today:
1. ASEAN should promote financial access to empower women who own micro, small, and medium enterprises (or MSMEs). This would be an opportunity to empower women to earn incomes and become self-reliant.
2. ASEAN should promote the role of women in the healthcare sector. As for Thailand, we support the significant role played by women as Village Health Volunteers, which form part of the strong foundation of Thai healthcare system.