Restricted Area for Women in Thailand (Why?)
Table of Contents
State of the problem
In Thailand, women are restricted from entering some areas of temples such as the holy pagoda, which contains Buddha’s relics and certain chapels. Onemoon’s Blog.(2010). No Lady. Retrieved Sep. 9, 2014, From http://onemoon.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/สุภาพสตรีห้ามเข้า. Many people in the North and Northeast of Thailand believe that the divinities were buried under the ground of these historic places. While these restrictions on women’s movement have been discussed for a long time, there has been little change. According to these customs, women are forbidden to touch or even come close to monks due to Buddhist beliefs.
Understanding Buddhism in Thailand
Monks are forbidden from touching or coming close to women’s bodies, because it is believed that a woman’s body is contrary to a monk’s vows.Thus, most temples in Thailand put an announcement which restricts women from entering. Many people, especially tourists, are unsure whether this is sex discrimination due to the wording that is used (sometimes, a simple sign such as “no lady” is displayed).
Normally, ancestors keep precious relics on top of other relics but some Thai ancestors keep it underground so that no one is allowed to walk in this area which they claim to be a holy area. Examples include the relic in Wat Phra That Hariphunchai in Lamphoon and Wat Prathat Lampang Luang in Lampang (north of Thailand). This restriction is only for women.
According to a study by Pensupa Sukkata Jai-in, there is a connection between Buddhism and superstition.Pensupa Sukkata Jai-in. 2010. Archaeological mystery : No women entry. Matichon Weekend news, 31 (1578), 76.. The author concludes that these traditions are unclear regarding women’s rights. She proposes that they should use more polite and clear language instead of the statement “No lady”.
It is important to provide a clear explanation about Thai history and the reasons why women are not permitted to access in certain areas, so that foreigners and tourists can understand better.
Group 2The members of ECS 485 Group 2 are (From left to right) :
1. Mr. Piriyapong Prachumsuk
2. Mr. Tattep Sinjanakhom
3. Mr. Piyapong Kammeesawang
4. Mr. Ratchanart Kongsri
5. Mr. Rawit Kamolwattanasunthorn