After meeting with the executive management of Thai Airways International (the national carrier of Thailand), Kiat Sittheeamorn – a member of LI’s human rights committee and deputy leader of the Democrat Party (LI full-member) – has won an important victory for the advancement of women’s rights in Thailand.
Fighting against gender-based discrimination is an on-going battle which is always hard but if I don’t do it who will?
Raising the fact that the airline has never had a female pilot in its entire history, Kiat Sittheeamorn was clear: “What Thai Airways has been doing is in clear violation of the Thai Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Fighting against gender-based discrimination is an on-going battle which is always hard but if I don’t do it who will?”
Usanee Sangsingkeo, who is the Acting President of the airline, admitted that such practices were indeed discriminatory and committed to changing the airline’s policy soon.
Commenting on the positive outcome Mr Sittheeamorn added: “It’s easier than it may otherwise appear as long as one has the right arguments at hand. Now that I have taken the lead on this issue, many in the Thai community have come out of hiding having the courage to air their grievances.”
Kiat Sittheeamorn, who is also Secretary General of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD), was accompanied by Dr. Rachada Dhnadirekthe MP Vice Chair of the Democrat Party & Deputy Chair of CALD Women Caucus.
Chairman of LI Human Rights Committee Markus Löning applauded Sittheeamorn efforts saying ”promotion and advancement of women’s rights lays at the core of Liberal International’s human rights work. I would like to congratulate my colleague Kiat Sittheeamorn for this important victory and reassure him that the global liberal family and our Human Rights Committee will continue to support his work and the fight for gender equality in Thailand. As always, the LI HRC and its members will continue to work hard so that we can see similar developments in other parts of the world which are still struggling to embrace basic women’s rights.”
The Liberal International Human Rights Committee has been active on two women’s rights campaigns: a campaign calling for the globalization of the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and girls and a campaign calling for the elimination of violence against women in politics (#NotTheCost), initiated by the National Democratic Institute (NDI – LI cooperating organisation).