The International Women’s Club of Thailand (IWC) is one of the oldest and largest social clubs in Thailand. Founded in 1964, it currently has around 400 members from 80 different countries. Our membership includes many prominent Thai and expat personalities.
Over the past 50 years, IWC has worked to foster friendship and mutual understanding amongst women of different nationalities, promote education and social welfare for the Thai community, and improve the status of women. IWC also works in coordination with other women’s organisations in Thailand and abroad.
Girls’ education in Thailand
A century ago, there were no schools for girls. Education took place at home with emphasis on the domestic arts, such as cooking and embroidery. Upperclass parents sought to enrol their daughters at one of the royal courts so that they could be properly educated by female royals, and well versed in the Thai language, flower arranging, court manners, embroidery, and cooking. With such credentials, they could become good wives and mothers in charge of their households.
Before the establishment of a uniform national education system at the beginning of the 20th century local Buddhist temples were the educational centres, but for males only. The impetus for educational development picked up pace during the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), who undertook a major reform of the Thai education system, with the introduction of the first public schools and the expansion of education at all levels.
In 1921, under the reign of King Rama VI, the Compulsory Education Act required that all children from ages 7 to 14, boys and girls alike, attend school. In 1932, when Thailand became a constitutional monarchy, educating the whole population became a priority of the government and many reforms were introduced.
Nonetheless, when it came to making decisions about sending children to school, boys were still chosen over girls. Even up to the 1990s, illiteracy was considerably higher among women than men. At the home level, parents perceived that educating daughters could interfere with their duty to care for elderly parents in later life. Besides the traditional family structure, the labour market also contributed to the gender gap since it was expected that sons would become household heads and so men should have better access to job opportunities.
The longstanding gender gap in educational attainment favouring boys over girls has narrowed. Thailand has made progress in promoting the rights and capabilities of women, and since 1992 more female than male students have enrolled in higher education.
IWC Scholarship Foundation
IWC members take part in various activities, but we maintain a focus on social welfare through our IWC Scholarship Foundation, established in 1994, which provides an ongoing educational fund to support less fortunate, but deserving female students with scholarships which are awarded annually. Many IWC members are mothers and daughters ourselves, and we sincerely believe that “when you educate a girl, you educate a family.”
Each year, IWC helps students to further their education by giving continuous support until their graduation. The foundation awards 30-50 scholarships each year. IWC also supports many organisations around the Kingdom of Thailand, particularly those with an emphasis on the welfare of women and children.
Our scholarship recipients are students at university, high school, middle and elementary school levels. The funds they receive help cover costs for books, school supplies, lunches, uniforms and tuition. Teachers and professors at the various schools and universities help oversee our recipients and report on their grades and progress. The average cost per student per year is 3,500B (elementary), 5,500B (high school), and 15,000B (university level). In recent years, the scholarships have concentrated more on high school and university students.
To raise money for the programme, IWC holds an annual fundraising event. The IWC Annual Fundraiser gives students who enter the programme the opportunity to to reach the highest level of their abilities without fear of having to leave school before they are ready to do so. Secure in the knowledge that they will be able to complete their studies, we believe that our students are given the fighting chance to graduate as worthy, confident and contributing citizens of the Kingdom of Thailand.
In commemoration of King Rama IX
International Women’s Club of Thailand
proudly presents: “An elegant Thai evening”
Date: 11th November 2017 (Saturday)
The Sala Thai Ballroom
5/F, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park
199, Sukhumvit Soi 22, Klong Ton, Bangkok
Time: 6:30 p.m. Registration
6:45 p.m. Cocktail Reception
7:30 p.m. Dinner
Price: Platinum VIP ticket -5,000B
Regular ticket – 2,200B
(Table of 10 is 20,000B)
– Singing – Live band
– Fashion show – Door prizes
– Raffle draw – Dancing
– Prizes for best dressed
Theme for best dressed:
Thai attire from old to modern era
For reservations contact:
Nora Kositamongkol 081 936 0778
Mukda Sorensen 081 814 2221
Proceeds go to IWC Scholarship Foundation
Dress code: Elegant Thai attire/lounge suit
Kathleen Pokrud is the President of the International Women’s Club of Thailand. Based on His Late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s guiding principles, the vision and theme for IWC this year is “Friendship and Love”. As a long established and prestigious social club in Thailand, the club’s mission in 2017 is to build stronger ties among the members, and extend their positive energy and love to friends and community.
With the support of this year’s energetic committee, IWC has hosted 2 very successful events with strong support from the Diplomatic Corps and participation from various ladies’ groups in Thailand. In January there was the Welcome of the Rooster Chinese New Year event and, in May, the IWC International Food Fair.
IWC is looking forward to another major function in November featuring “An elegant Thai evening” in commemoration of King Rama IX, to honour the club’s proud Thai heritage. It promises to be one of the social events of