Second woman chosen to lead Thai Supreme Court

Thailand sustained its advance towards greater gender equality last week when the judiciary selected Justice Piyakul Boonperm as the next President of the Supreme Court, the second woman to hold that post.

Justice Piyakul will assume the court presidency in September following the retirement of Justice Methinee Chalothorn, the current President and the first woman to hold the vaunted position.

The Judicial Commission approved the appointment of Piyakul, the most senior justice who was a candidate for the job.

Piyakul  graduated with honors from Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok and is a barrister-at-law. She also obtained a master’s degree in law from Chulalongkorn University, considered the Kingdom’s top university.

Thailand has an impressive record of advances in gender equality. A research from Grant Thornton International in 2019 found that women in Thailand hold 33 percent of all CEO and Managing Director jobs in the private sector, which is double the world average and higher than any other country in Southeast Asia.

The Head of the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission is a woman, and women hold 20 percent of all company director positions. While the percentage of women in parliament is still relatively low, it rose from 5.4 percent to 16.2 percent in the most recent elections in 2019.

Women in Thailand were granted the right to vote under the constitution of 1933 and the current constitution explicitly states that men and women have equal rights under the law. And in 1985, Thailand ratified the international Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

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