The Thai bhikkhuni movement and women's empowerment


This paper discusses the recent emergence of a movement in Thailand that aims to critique and transform patriarchal values supported by the Theravada Buddhist tradition by introducing female ordination (bhikkhuni ordination). The paper argues that there is a relationship between the low status of women in Thai Buddhism and the inferior status of women in Thai society. The introduction of female leadership roles in Thai Buddhism could play a role in balancing the gender hierarchies within the tradition as well as in society more broadly.


Gender and Development (2006) 14 (3) 385-397 [doi: 10.1080/13552070600980492]

The Thai bhikkhuni movement and women’s empowerment

Published 1 January 2006