WMP slams Bangkok Gov’s ban on sexy dresses at Songkran Festival

Photo by Tatsuya Fukata via Flickr

The Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation (WMP) criticized Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt over his recent Songkran Festival policy which bans women from wearing sexy dresses. The WMP believes the policy is victim-blaming and protects sexual offenders.

Chadchart announced the policy for the Songkran Festival in Bangkok on Monday, March 27 after a meeting with his team. The team has banned alcohol sales, white powder, and high-pressure water guns in public places during the new year celebration.

WMP director Jadet Chaowilai revealed to the media yesterday that he agreed alcohol and high-pressure water guns should be banned but added he was disappointed that the sexy dresses were prohibited.

Jadet disagreed with the governor’s statement that wearing a sexy dress and showing bodies would lead to sexual harassment. He said sexual assaults generally come from the superior power of the offenders, who usually gather in groups and harass victims, some under the influence of alcohol. He said sexual harassment happens no matter how people dress.

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Jadet stated…

“The foundation and the relevant department of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) have been working together to rid sexual harassment from the Songkran Festival for over 10 years. Every time, the BMA authorities spread the same discourse to the public that sexy dresses motivate sexual harassment. However, harassment still goes on every year, even if sexy costumes are banned. The foundation has tried to stop this kind of thinking several times. Victim-blaming must be stopped.”

Jadet suggested that Bangkok should launch a policy to warn potential sex offenders to check their behaviour instead of telling people what they can or can’t wear.

He said the police and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (M-Society) should watch the situation closely and punish offenders. Also, the emergency command centre must be available in every event to assist victims and monitor the situation.

The Songkran Festival will return to the country from April 13 to 15, allowing visitors to participate in several Songkran events and water fights across the country. Pattaya will offer the longest Songkran festival called Wan Lai Mueang Pattaya which will take place from April 13 to 19.

In Bangkok, the BMA has teamed up with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to promote the traditional Songkran event along the Chao Phraya River. Visitors can expect to witness the procession of Buddha images, ancient markets, and other forms of entertainment. Additionally, the Chao Phraya Express Boat will offer free rides all along the festival from 8.30am to 5pm.

WMP slams Bangkok Gov's ban on sexy dresses at Songkran Festival | News by Thaiger

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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