International Women's Day 2021 Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World

In 2020, UNDP Thailand signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Parliament of Thailand to empower parliamentarians and parliamentary staff members in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Thailand, to achieve the Agenda 2030. To commemorate International Women's Day 2021, UNDP Thailand presents an interview with Mrs. Pornpith Phetchareon, Secretary-General of Thailand's House of Representatives. She reflects on the challenges and shares her visions of integrating the SDGs within Parliament’s work to achieve gender equality.

Meeting with Renaud Meyer, Resident Representative of UNDP in Thailand.

Currently, female staff comprise of 62% out of 2,000 staff members at the Secretariat, where 20 out of 32 hold executive positions. However, although Thailand’s Constitution mandates an equal representation of men and women in political parties, in reality the number of elected women in Parliament remains low. As Secretary-General of the House of Representatives, Pornpith wants to elevate the voices of female Parliamentarians, and supported the appointment of female Parliamentarians on the world stage, such as the executive board of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

Interview with UNDP Thailand

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretariat has been flexible with female employees, especially those who have special needs or pregnant to work from home as much as needed. Furthermore, the Secretariat staff have also volunteered to donate relief items to female inmates, in collaboration with the Department of Corrections.

Having signed the MOU with UNDP, the Secretary-General envisions long-term cooperation with UNDP on issues relating to sustainable development, such as climate action and inequality reduction. This involves reduction of energy consumption as part of ‘Green Parliament’ initiative and inform decision making to draft legislation and budget management. This exchange of knowledge will enable female Parliamentarians to reach their potential and play a greater role in supporting Thailand towards the achievement of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Watch highlights from her interview:

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Created with an images by UNDP Thailand and video produced by the Parliament's Radio and Television Station