UN Women join forces with public and private sectors in Bangkok to mark International Women’s Day


Addressing economic inclusivity, gender equality in the market and advancing women’s participation in the world of work, UN Women Thailand organized and participated in various events to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) 2024 under the theme Invest in women: Accelerate progress.

On 1 March, UN Women co-hosted “Women’s Impact Entrepreneurship Day (WIED) 2024” with Sasin Sustainability and Entrepreneurship Center. The event revolved around the theme of new horizons in women’s entrepreneurship that embrace diversity and inspire change, highlighting women-owned businesses’ impact as a powerful force to achieve equal market opportunities and inclusive economic growth. The event shed light on how these businesses balance their investments in people and planet with profit and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), incorporating a gender lens and innovative women’s entrepreneurship perspectives.

UN Women promotes women-led entrepreneurship in Thailand through the WE RISE Together programme and Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which emphasize how individuals and organizations, especially in the private sector, can promote gender equality and invest in more diverse supplier pools and gender-responsive procurement.

Photo: Courtesy of Sasin School of Management
Supapim Wannopas, UN Women Thailand Project Manager, gives a presentation at Women Impact Entrepreneurship Day 2024. Photo: Courtesy of Sasin School of Management

On 6 March, UN Women engaged with pharmaceutical company and WEPs signatory Novartis in its International Women’s Day celebration “Her Opportunities – Inspire Inclusion” by providing WEPs training to Novartis staff. The training covered diversity and its power play in society and the workplace, as well as how to ensure workplace inclusivity – such as by putting the WEPs into practice and assessing awareness of gender inclusivity.

According to Rita Juneja, Country Communications and Engagement Head of Novartis: “Gaining inspiration from the session by UN Women, we focused on diversity, fostering an inclusive environment where values are embraced and respected, regardless of gender. Engaging activities like power walks and discussions added to the excitement.”

Photo: UN Women/Supapim Wannopas
Rita Juneja (left) and Varintip Sookthat (right) discussed their experience about being a women leader and the importance of opportunity and participation. Photo: UN Women/Supapim Wannopas

On International Women’s Day, 8 March, UN Women joined forces with two WEPs signatories, ila Generation and Grand Hyatt Regency Bangkok, to organize the dialogue “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress”. Businesses were invited to make gender equality commitments across their supply chains and procurement processes, starting with training their internal staff on preventing gender-based violence and harassment.

The panel discussion afterwards centred on WEPs initiatives, diversity and inclusion in the hospitality industry, and on reducing gender-based violence. Supapim Wannopas, UN Women Thailand Project Manager, said that, according to the Royal Thai Police statistics, there are more than 8,000 victims of sexual harassment.

“The best way to deal with the issue, especially as an organization, is to establish a holistic system of prevention and protection – to let all staff know that all forms of harassment and abusive behaviour will not be tolerated, and to have a clear process outlining what to do, even for the slightest incident,” said Wannopas.

Photo: Courtesy of ila GenerationSupapim Wannopas (second from left) took part in the panel discussion: “Invest in training and women’s safety” at the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit. Photo: Courtesy of ila Generation

On the same day, UN Women participated in an event hosted by Thailand’s Department of Women’s Affairs and Family Development and Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, under the theme of empowering women and girls and end poverty to achieve gender equality.

The event is held annually to honour women, individuals, public and private organizations and local organizations that demonstrate outstanding work on women’s empowerment and capacity-building. This year, Minister of Social Development and Human Security of Thailand Varawut Silpa-archa presided over the opening ceremony and presented the awards to honour individuals and organizations.

Photo: UN
Women/Peemapon Klinprachum
Varawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Social Development and Human Security of Thailand (third from right), and Sarah Knibbs, Deputy Regional Director of UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (fifth from left), at the International Women’s Day 2024 event at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in Bangkok. Photo: UN Women/Peemapon Klinprachum

At the exhibition booth, UN Women emphasized its work on women’s empowerment using economic and commercial market approaches. The booth featured quality and innovative products from women-led enterprises and communities supported by WE RISE Together. Some of the products showcased included Inno Lab Studio’s food seasoning powder and alternative protein products from pupa; Future bugs’s alternative snacks made from bugs and vegetables; and Gooodganic’s modernized Thai medicine and body care.

Photo: UN Women/Peemapon Klinprachum
The product showcase at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre featured micro, small and medium-sized enterprises supported by WE RISE Together programme. Photo: UN Women/Peemapon Klinprachum

WE RISE Together is implemented by UN Women with funding from the Australian Government through the Mekong-Australia Partnership.