Document Type



Presented at Cornell Law School, March 9, 2004.


Thai society and the feminist movement have been bombarded with the (ir)rationality of economic greed, social ignorance and a patriarchal frame of thinking on the legalization of prostitution. Feminist ideology and societal conscience are hence being tested all over again. The issue of prostitution has been reduced to an issue of taxation for state income generation. Basically, the issue of legalizing prostitution is twofold, i.e., the decriminalization of prostituted women and the legalization of prostitution or decriminalization of the sex industry. The first of these points perceives that the prostituted women are victimized, exploited and violated, and thus should not be punished; the second is about an acceptance of prostitution as work.

The efforts of all concerned should instead be to urgently focus on how to suppress prostitution, embrace gender equality, defend women's human rights and support prostituted women to enable them to leave prostitution and to be provided with dignified and sustainable work.

Date of Authorship for this Version

March 2004


Prostitution, Feminism, Thailand