Stand Up Mae Chi, for your Rights

by Aik Theng Chong, Singapore, The Buddhist Channel, March 10, 2011

With reference to your article Gender and religion: Where nuns fear to tread The Bangkok Post, March 6, 2011.

As a non-Thai Buddhist, albeit vague on Thai cultures and traditions, one cannot but is left amazed and flabbergasted at the treatment of female clergy in Thai Religious and Official circles.

I certainly hope that the view from the general public is not the same as that of the official one regarding the community of Nuns. In the whole of the above captioned article, it seems that the concern is centre solely on how to tighten the rules and regulations even further to prevent such incident from happening again. One cannot but is left again with the feeling that nuns are nothing more than an irritant to the Thai Official and Religious Authorities, and once they step out of official lines they should be regarded as social outcasts.

Not officially allowed to interpret or teach the dhamma, perform religious rituals, barred from managing temples? It is so surprising that such obvious outdated discriminating practices are still in place in this modern time. It is as though women have only a “half a brain” as compared to men.

Female constituted more than half of Thailand’s population, and for the betterment of their gender and also to remove the impediments place in their path on their religious practices; they should band together with other female organizations in existence, religious or otherwise to fight for what is good for themselves instead of allowing the opposite gender using some outdated laws and regulations to decide on their destiny.

It is my beliefs that, they are lots of Buddhist men out there, locals and foreigners alike, who will give their full support in their fights for their rights.