TS4 Webinar | Gender-Based Violence in Thailand’s Pro-Democracy Movement

15:00 to 16:30
(GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris

The Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS), the New York Southeast Asia Network (NYSEAN) and the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC) invite to their first TS 4 webinar of the new year with Associate Professor Verita Sriratana (Chulalongkorn University) discussing offline & online Gender-Based Violence (GBV) perpetrated against female activists in Thailand’s pro-democracy movement.

Thailand’s anti-government protests since 2020, fuelled by resentment towards the Prayut Chan-o-cha administration’s abuse of power and mismanagement of COVID-19 pandemic crisis, have taken an interesting turn. The current movement can be characterised as not only a youth-led people’s movement of which most campaigns and activities are initiated by school and university students through various interest clusters, but also as a movement which calls for gender equality as the forefront to the fight for democracy.

The focus of this talk is not only the physical forms of gender-based violence (GBV), but also the more subtle form of GBV, namely, epistemic violence. Epistemic violence has been perpetrated in both online and offline domains, especially in the case of women and LGBTQINA+ persons who have been vocal and politically active on social network platforms. In the case of female activists, cyberbullying and attempts to tone police and language police them have led to a realisation that the pro-government ultraroyalists and ultranationalists are not their only battlefront. In fact, the female activists simultaneously need to seek tactics to handle misogynist and anti-feminist discourses ironically propagated by anti-government protesters who identify themselves as “progressive”, “fighters for democracy” or even “champions of human rights”. In the case of LGBTQINA+ persons, blatant GBV in the form of epistemic violence can be seen reflected in the Constitutional Court Ruling on 17 November 2021, which determined that Section 1448 of the Civil and Commercial Code (the law which defines marriage as between a man and a woman) does not violate Thailand’s constitution. 


Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS)
New York Southeast Asia Network (NYSEAN)
Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC)