I am a native of Nong Khai Province. I am married Mr Kimsie Ieasakul
who is in the construction business. We have four sons and one
daughter. I, a high school graduate, after marriage took care
of the children. I was later elected Mayor of Nong Khai in June
1980. I have served four consecutive terms in office (16 years),
and hope to hold office for a long time to come.
I have had relatives in politics all my life. Many of my relatives
are now politicians. My nephew is the Minister for Labour. I have
an older brother who is an MP, and a cousin who is the chairman
of the Municipal Council.
There were four important factors which made me decide to enter
local politics. Firstly, the support encouragement and political
advice of my husband; secondly, my family situation, my children
were growing up and my financial situation was secure; thirdly
I was active in the community, helping people with their problems;
and fouthly, I was respected in the community.
A Woman's Perspective
At the beginning, when I first became Mayor, I encountered some
problems and obstacles due to the fact that I was a woman. People
in the municipality office were reluctant to accept my authority
and had little confidence in my abilities. Many members of the
council held the view that a woman's place was in the home, and
her duties were to take care of the family. Some also believed
that working with a woman would be irritating because 'all women
are fussy'. I overcame these problems by taking good care of my
employees, as if they were family. I have earned their respect
and trust, through showing strong leadership, often having to
make tough decisions; establishing a planning system, dealing
with the necessities of administration and improving efficiency;
and working on public relations and promotion of the municipality's
work. Today the office runs efficiently and good cooperation from
the public, results in overall good work. I do not really feel
I face discrimination now, due to the length of my tenure. If
problems of discrimination occur I tend to ignore them.
During my time as Mayor, I have proposed several policies to
the municipality on women's issues, for example, policies to increase
women's cooperation and participation in municipal matters and
policies to provide opportunities and alternatives to women other
than being housewives. To improve the status of women in general,
I have set up community housewives groups, with the intention
of increasing women's roles in the community. I have also initiated
short term career training to increase the income of women. Another
programme we have worked on, is to set up women volunteer groups
for public health to train women to train in public health so
that they can take their knowledge and publicize it in their communities.
Breaking The Barriers
The main reasons which prevent or restrict women from entering
the political arena are cultural and social. The prevailing belief
is that women belong in the home and politics should be left to
men. Other difficulties may include financing, lack of support
groups and people to back them. To encourage women to participate
in local government, the following changes should be made: women
should be employed at every level and department and should be
able to enter with equal qualifications; women's organizations
should be supported vigorously; there should be a general promotion
of women's role in society and outstanding women in society should
be recognized. Women these days should take an active role governance.
Today, women have more opportunities to participate in local government
and I believe that women want to work for the benefit of society.
I think women leaders do have a responsibility in promoting female
participation in politics, and I believe the best way that women
leaders are able to assist other women in entering politics and
in positions of decision making in general is through their own
behavior and achievements. Women leaders often show honesty and
sincerity and I think women are often better at coordination and
Perceptions of women in politics in Thailand have changed for
the better over the past 10 years. The number of Members of Parliament
and the number of women participating in Local Government has
increased. In Nong Khai one other member of the Municipality is
a woman, and two members of Nong Khai Council are women.
During my four terms in office I have received many awards. These
include several awards in Education Management from the national
government, awards in Teenager Activity Promotions also from national
government; honesty prizes form the Ministry of the Interior and
the media; and also awards in social administration and business
leadership from the media.
My future ambitions, as Mayor of Nong Khai include, the building
of 5 municipal schools; a community market in the centre of the
town to buy and sell products made in the Nong Khai area; a garbage
control centre to try and address some of the town's environmental
problems; concrete roads in alleys and lanes; sewers to cover
the whole of the municipal area; and a water treatment system.
I also wish to improve and modernize the municipality's management
and administration. As well as improving the information system
to understand people's needs better and to develop policy and
plans in accordance.
I have been elected for another term of 4 years which will take
my duration in office to 20 years. I hope serve as Mayor of Nong
Khai for as long as possible.