Zonta International Chiang Mai members joins
Charter President Somboon Suprasert in cutting the ribbon on the new rose
garden to be planted on the centenary of International Women’s Day, March 8,
By Shana Kongmun
International Women’s Day was celebrated around Chiang Mai on its centenary
anniversary, Tuesday, March 8, 2011 with rose planting, seminars and a march
from Nawarat Bridge.
Members of Zonta International Chiang Mai planted roses at Suan Buak Haad
Park. Zonta Chiang Mai’s Charter President Mrs. Somboon Suprasert, President
Jiamjit Boonsom, Hope Watcharaprecha, Margaret Bhadungzong, and other Zonta
members were joined by newly arrived volunteers for the Zonta sponsored
Grandma Cares program. The women joined together to plant roses and, as Hope
reminded them to remember a woman in need as they planted.
Watcharaprecha and Somboon Suprasert, Zonta Charter President plant a rose
in honor of women in need around the world.
International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the economic,
political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In
China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women's Day is a national
holiday. While International Women’s Day is not a holiday in Thailand, a
seminar entitled “Inspiring the Global Vision of Women” was held at the
Imperial Mae Ping Hotel in the afternoon, sponsored by Chiang Mai’s
Federation of Business and Professional Women, Zonta International, the
Lyons Club, and the newly formed Association of Muslim Women in Chiang Mai
and saw 140 women and men in attendance.
Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul spoke on important women in Thailand both
current and historical and recalled the work of HM the King’s mother, Her
Royal Highness Somdej Phra Sri Nakarindra Baromraj Chonni in aiding the hill
tribes people of the North. United States Consul General Susan N. Stevenson
joined the panel discussion noting that she felt with time, a special day
would not be necessary and that eventually the disparity between men and
women would not longer exist. Khun Tong Dee Toteeyong, Thailand’s award
winner for best Community leader in social development, a long time village
activist from Saraphi, stressed the importance for women to create organized
associations and clubs to broaden the education and skills for village
from Empower perform to the delight of the crowd.
Dr. Chao Duang Duen na Chiengmai, President of the Chiang Mai Cultural
Council, reminded the women working in family businesses, service clubs or
organizations to communicate with others; to keep love in their hearts and
minds for others; be patient and tolerant, to disagree without being
offensive; and take time to speak and reach out to our loved ones every day.
Mrs. Somboon Suprasert was awarded the WIN Award of Excellence, the first
Thai be so awarded by the Women’s Information Network. The event was well
attended and very interesting and the audience, as they broke for an
afternoon tea, discussed with enthusiasm the many roles women play in
International Women’s Day drew to a close with a march from Nawarat Bridge
to Tha Pae Gate by women (and men) of all ages in support of various womens
and migrants organizations. Empower, Trafcord, which fights trafficking of
women and children, and other organizations promoting the rights of women
were side by side with those working for migrant workers in Chiang Mai and
the North. Many of the women in the crowd wore t-shirts emblazoned with the
slogan of the day: Reflect Back, Move Forward as they cheered on the
performers on the stage as well as Deputy Governor Naruemol Plawat who
joined the organizers on stage to start the show.
Nearly 300 people took part in the event, which ended at Tha Pae Gate with
performances by women from the Empower Foundation, an organization founded
in 1985 and working to helping women in the sex trade by offering free
classes in language, health, law and pre-college education as well as
individual counseling. The organization also works to get the Thai
government to provide sex workers with labor protection and to legalize
Members of the Chiang Mai Federation of Business
and Professional Women join Amber Hedges Ferry and U.S. Consul General Susan
N. Stevenson at the seminar at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel on “Inspiring the
Global Vision of Women”.
Dr. Chao Duanduen na Chiengmai (center, seated)
is joined by Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul (2nd right) and members of the
Lyons Club, Zonta, and the Federation of Business and Professional Women at
Deputy Governor Naruemol Plawat (4th left) joins
organizers of the parade and celebration on stage at Tha Pae Gate to
celebrate the centenary of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2011.
The audience was enthusiastic for the
performances onstage for of International Women’s Day.