Thailand is a beautiful country and a very popular tourist destination among western people. However, Thai people are quite different and have a whole other set of traditions. While their culture may differ greatly, Thai men and women all share the same feelings as western people do. They fall in love, get married, have children, work, travel and socialize. When it comes to Thai women, though, they often face numerous problems such as discrimination and gender inequality. This is why it is important to learn more about them and figure out why so many of them end up becoming Thai brides.
1. Political status
Thai women were among the first women in Asia to be granted the right to vote. This happened back in 1932. Be that as it may, they are are still underrepresented in the political scene and lack political voice. While there are no legal limitations against women participating in politics, there are several factors that prevented them from rising in political activities. These factors include cultural impediments, lower socio-economic status, structural barriers, lower educational attainments, and power-sharing issues with men. There are few women who make it in the political area of Thailand. The best example in this sense is Orapin Chaiyakan, the first woman in Thailand who was elected to hold a post in the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Thailand. This happened in 1949.
2. Business and socio-economical status
When it comes to entrepreneurship, Thai women make up for 47% of the country’s workforce, which is the highest percentage of working women in the Asia-Pacific region. Despite this figure, Thai women are mostly concentrated in lower-paying jobs, which means that men still own the supremacy in the realm of entrepreneurship. Moreover, these women have to face problems that should no longer exist in the 21st century, such as hiring discrimination and gender inequality. Furthermore, there are many women in this country who fall victim to marital rape, prostitution, human trafficking, or other forms of domestic abuse and sex crimes.
3. Marital status
The National Statistical Office of Thailand revealed that Thai women marry at an earlier age than Thai men. According to the same statistic, in 24% of the Thai households, women are identified as heads of those households. In order to be eligible for marriage, Thai men and women need to meet certain criteria:
- both parties must be at least 17 years old; otherwise, a court order is needed;
- neither party should be insane;
- both parties should not be in blood relations to each other by direct ascendant or descendant line;
- both parties should not have the same adoptive parents;
- neither party should have a spouse at the time of the marriage.
In 2007, The New York Times revealed that Thailand has become a major sex tourism destination. Numerous male foreigners come here to make marriage arrangements with Thai women. Most of these men are seeking companionship and economic relief, especially when they hit the retiring age. On the other hand, Thai women become Thai brides because they want to escape from the miserable life they live in Thailand. They want to forget all about poverty and unhappiness and to redeem themselves from their former life as prostitutes or from abandonment by former partners. However, it is important for people to understand that not all Thai brides are former prostitutes.
It is easy to see why so many Thai women enter such arranged marriages. The numerous problems that women face in Thailand have led to the number of Thai brides increasing significantly by the year. The number of men seeking marriage with Thai women is also increasing, so no wonder that Thai brides are in high demand right now.