Name: Siriporn Panyasen
Where: Lampang province, Northern Thailand
What she does: Is an advocate for women’s participation in politics and the founder of WAY Lampang
Impact: The first introduction of CEDAW-themed training on local government working processes in Thailand and a rise in number of female politicians in Lampang
Nominate by: Siriporn Laosang, One World Action staff
Siriporn Panyasen is the founder of the Association for the Promotion of Women and Youth Development in Lampang (WAY Lampang) inNorthern Thailand. She left school at the age of 14 to earn a living in order to take care of her siblings and became a community volunteer aged 19.
Among very few female local politicians in Lampang, Siriporn has been working in local governments for nearly three decades, working her way up from the village level, and was elected the chief of the Tambon** Administrative Organisation (TAO) overseeing close to 10 villages. She also dedicated her time coordinating a feminist network to provide legal advice on pressing issues including domestic violence, human trafficking, unequal wages, drugs and political exclusion. The network, comprising a number of local women’s groups, was later transformed to WAY Lampang.
Siriporn is committed to increasing the level of female representation in politics and has been providing training for women and young people on political campaigning, fundraising and public speaking. The model of WAY Lampang has attracted several other women’s groups in Northern Thailand. In addition to training potential female candidates to contest in elections, in partnership with UNIFEM, Siriporn also coaches women from other areas inNorthern Thailandto become the trainers themselves.