Half of Thai women sexually harassed during Songkran: survey

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

More than half of Thai women who responded to a survey said that they were sexually harassed by men during the famous Water Festival.

The Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation submitted the report to Ministry of Interior yesterday and urged the government to come up with measures to prevent sexual harassment.

Based on responses collected in 2016 from 1,793 women and girls between the age 10 and 40, the report said that 51.9 percent of them have been sexually harassed.

It cited that aside from sexual harassment, the victims were bothered by drunk men, and pressured to drink alcoholic beverages.

One of the victims said that a man on Khaosan Road fondled her breasts after he applied powder paste to her face at Songkran 2016. She was afraid to report the incident because she didn’t want any trouble, Post Today reported.

“I felt disgusted, and I don’t wanna take part in a water fight again,” the unnamed victim told reporters.

Another woman said that she and her friends also had their breasts groped by men who appeared to be drunk on Khaosan Road.

“Songkran is supposed to be a fun festival, but that was the end of Songkran for me,” she said, adding that she didn’t take part in street water fights last year.

The organization is calling on the government to protect women at this year’s Songkran festival and campaigning for Thai people to have respect for others.

Their plea came after the Department of Local Administration Director-General Sutthipong Chulcharoen told women not to wear sexy outfits during Songkran — a statement that local Thai authorities make every year but somehow has just made international headlines last week.

In the previous years, the government banned “sexy dance moves,” “sexy pants,” and “sexy muscles,” fearing it would lead to sex crimes.

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