6 June 2024

The 32nd Global Summit of Women (#GSW2022), the annual international business and economic forum for female leaders, has officially opened in Thailand, with over 650 participants from 52 countries taking part, most hailing from Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico and the Philippines.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the opening ceremony, during which he gave a speech in Thai, stating that the summit reflects the power of female leaders, while acknowledging that women have to juggle various roles, from being a mother and a wife to earning income for the family.

He also said that this year’s summit is also an opportunity to showcase the potential and talents of female leaders, in hopes of improving the economy, adding that women have played important roles in the country’s development.

“Today is a great opportunity for Thailand to welcome, gain power and positive experiences from female leaders from around the world and from different sectors at this year’s Global Summit of Women. This summit will reflect women’s potential, competence and power to drive the world towards a better and equal future, without leaving anyone behind.”

The President of the Global Summit of Women, Irene Natividad, said that women play a huge role in the global economy, with women’s economic output contributing up to 40% of the global GDP during the pre-pandemic period.

If women are given equal access to economic activities and opportunities, the global GDP could, however, increase up to 28 trillion dollars in 2025. Therefore, there should be more support and solutions so that women are actively engaged in the economy.

“Even though women aren’t paid as much as men, they don’t have access to the best paying jobs, they can’t get funding for their enterprises, or confined to part-time work because they have family responsibilities, imagine if women didn’t have those hurdles, they would be bringing more money, not only to their families, but to their countries, to their communities, and to the global GDP.”

Irene also explained that everyone is still facing difficult and challenging times, from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine to climate change, and that the world faces an unknowable future. Therefore, the summit will focus on solutions, as well as the sharing of practical strategies forged by women for women.

Meanwhile, Chair of the Thai Host Committee and former Minister of Tourism and Sports, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, said that this summit will showcase what Thailand has to offer, as well as highlighting the talents of Thai women leaders, while noting that people may have old perceptions about them.

“We commit ourselves to this event because we believe in it. In the past, I’m not quite sure what you have known about our country and have felt about Thai ladies. This summit will be a showcase on what Thailand and Thai ladies are ready to serve you. We have confidence in our country and in the future.”

The Global Summit of Women 2022 is being held in Bangkok between June 23rd and 25th, on the theme of “Women: Creating Opportunities in the New Reality”, which will connect female leaders in the private and public sectors, both in Thailand and around the world.