For our second Action Project, the assignment was to dive deeper into the country we were given to study and pair it was an MDG of our choosing. Since my country was Thailand, and I discovered a major issue with gender equality there from talking to a native, that was my chosen MDG. After talking a Thailand native, I did some more research using articles and transfered the information I found there into two maps. The first one depicts gender equality in 2000, when only 5.6% of women there were in parlement, and the second shows how in 2012, the number has increased to 15.8%. The MDG is off to a good start there, but it still has far to go.

Check out what I have to say!

For my country profile, I decided to focus on on Thailand and MDG target 3, promoting gender equality and empowering women; specifically, proportion of seats held by women in national parliament. Before I began this assignment, I admit I did not know anything about the gender equality situation in Thailand. But now that I have had the pleasure of doing some investigation through interviews and research, I’ll be able to share my knowledge with you.

For the article portion on my research, I decided on an article called “Six actions can fast-track women in Asia – Pacific UNDP”. It was written by Thin Lei Win and published on September 20th, 2012. The article states, “It will be 50 years before parliaments in the Asia-Pacific region achieve gender balance if women’s participation remains at its current pace. “One of the issues mainly discussed is half the population (4.2 billion) in the Asia Pacific area are female, and 10 percent of national parliament is women. However, in Thailand, there is a female prime minister named Yingluck Shinawatra. There are also 680,267 more females than males.

This article recommends six steps to increase women’s participation in politics. They all seemed very important so I’ve put them all here, word for word: “Constitutional reform to entrench women’s rights; transforming electoral systems and party laws to make them more inclusive; instituting legal quotas requiring certain numbers of women; changing internal political party rules; making it easier for women to develop political skills; and the creation of more gender-sensitive parliaments.” I think it’s very important for women to be a part of the government and politics because women’s perspective is very important too, and I will continue to develop an interest in making that happen.

For the interview, I spoke with a young woman named Tipi. First, I questioned her about the number of students all together in her high school. She informed me that in her integrated course of math and science, there were 45 people all together, out of which 35 were boys. She suspected this was because boys liked science more than girls. When asked if she would want to change anything about the way she was educated in her country, she answered saying, “We had a lot of homework and we did it to please the teacher, so we didn’t learn from our homework.”

Since Thailand is so huge and Tipi is from the capital, that’s where I decided to focus most of my gender equality in parliament research. The capital, Bangkok, is the largest city in Thailand, with 8,280,925 people. The star on my map symbolizes its location. There is a pretty equal ratio of men to women. Despite this, there are only 22 female upper house representatives as apposed to the 179 men. There are quite a few women in the House of Representatives (13,236) but not compared to the 94,868 males. As you can see, it is not a very equal ratio.

As you see in my maps below, I’ve compared the number of seats held by women in parliament in 2000 (5.6) to now (15.8). From this information I can grasp that more and more women are feeling comfortable with these positions of power, and I can only hope it goes up from here. In terms of my specific target, I can come to the conclusion that Thailand as a whole is on the right track toward increasing the proportion of seats held by women in national parliament.