Thailand has made significant progress in the area of women's development in recent years, with the government implementing a number of policies and programmes aimed at promoting gender equality and empowering women. Thailand’s national action plan for women development (2023-2033) is a comprehensive effort to improve the status of women in the country, addressing a wide range of issues, including gender equality, women's health, economic empowerment and education. Despite these efforts, gender inequality and discrimination remain significant issues in Thailand. There is still much work to be done to fully mainstream gender considerations in all policies and programmes and to ensure that women's rights are fully realized. Following Michel Foucault’s discourse analysis and Luce Irigaray’ s critical thoughts on gender differences in neoliberal capitalism, this paper examines the construction of “women” in Thailand’s recent national action plan for women development. It argues that the policy’s focus on gender equality and women empowerment is a gender-blind practice, failing to take different roles and diverse needs of women into consideration. The national plan for women development, therefore, maintain status quo and does not necessarily transform the unequal structure of gender relations in Thailand.
Jaray Singhakowinta, National Institute of Development Administration, Thailand
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