11 July 2024

The National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRC) has called for the promotion of gender equality across all sectors, as statistics reveal that seven women fall victim to sexual assault and abuse daily.

The call was made on the occasion of International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8th.

Pornprapai Ganjanarintr, chairperson of the NHRC, said patriarchal structures in Thai society continue to perpetuate gender inequality and discrimination, resulting in widespread instances of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The reports indicate that perpetrators are often known to the victims, such as family members and school staff. “Over 7 women have been sexually and physically assaulted per day. Thailand ranks among the top countries for sexual assaults against women,” she said.

Meanwhile, many cases of women assaulted physically and mentally have not been prosecuted fairly and there are insufficient female officers, she said.

In some cases, authorities cannot protect and secure the rights of the victims. There is a case in which a woman was rejected 3 times when reporting domestic violence by her ex-husband.

These are still ongoing issues among vulnerable groups, such as women and children in war zones, ethnic groups, migrant workers, those with disabilities and women with HIV.

Last year, the NHRC prioritised addressing violence against women during the Human Rights Assembly and elevated it to the national agenda, under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Efforts are underway to identify the root causes of violence and enhance central data systems to collect violence data on women and children, based on various demographics.

Pornprapai also called on the government and all sectors to improve the necessary services for women, such as safe abortion services, increased female officer representation, women’s empowerment initiatives and promoting women’s political participation at all levels, with the aim of creating a society free from discrimination and violence.