Democrats to push gender-equality laws


The Democrat Party will push for two draft laws – one on domestic violence and the other on maternal health – as an International Women’s Day present.

International Women’s Day was celebrated yesterday.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday said that Thai women faced education inequity, leading to their illiteracy rate being higher than their male counterparts.

Women also suffer inequity in the workplace, with men still holding most high positions, while a male pay-packet is about 17-per-cent higher on average than what a woman takes home, he said.

Abhisit said women with potential should not be restricted because of their sex, while domestic violence against women also needed to be tackled.

The Democrats will push for a domestic-violence draft law, as the criminal law cannot manage complicated domestic-violence cases, he said.

The Democrats drafted a maternal-health law to cover pre-maternal care and allow “inappropriate” pregnancies to be terminated, he added.

Abhisit did not elaborate on what would be deemed an inappropriate pregnancy, but said the proposed law would not allow women to freely have abortions, as the party is concerned about morality.

He said the two drafts had been submitted during the last Parliament, but were never brought up for consideration. Since there was no urgent matter currently confronting Parliament, MPs should now consider the drafts, he said.

The Democrats will also push for more female participation in the party, he said, with a higher number of women involved in its upcoming Democrats Assembly and party branches.

There will also be more women on the party’s managing board, Abhisit added.

Published on March 09, 2005

Yossawadee Hongthong

The Nation