The prime minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra visited Ewha on March 26 to deliver a special lecture at the LG Convention Hall in the International Education Building. As the first female prime minister of Thailand, Shinawatra gave a speech about female leadership and her vision as a female prime minister to motivate Ewha students in pursuing their goals.
After Ewha President Kim Sun-uk gave an opening speech, Shinawatra approached the podium with a warm round of applause by the audience. Since being elected in 2011, Shinawatra has received global spotlight as a representing figure of female leadership. Shinawatra earned two degrees in politics, a bachelor’s degree from Chiang Mai University and a master’s degree from Kentucky State University. Before becoming prime minister, she was also the managing director of two firms owned by her family.
In beginning her speech, Shinawatra explained the connection between Korea’s economic development and the roles of women.
“In an evaluation conducted in 2011 by the United Nations Development Programme, South Korea was ranked 11th amongst 146 nations in the equality of males and females. This is closely tied to the nation’s growth and shows how women’s power supports the development of a nation,” Shinawatra said.
During her speech, Shinawatra emphasized the essential need for feminine characteristics, such as women’s softness and caring virtues to bring peace.
“One of the reasons I am partaking in politics is that I would like to create opportunities for all women to be involved in politics and enabling women to work as part of society’s workforce as active members,” Shinawatra said.
Before leaving for her next schedule, Shinawatra concluded her speech by stating she “hopes to meet the future female leaders of Korea.”
Other heads of state, including Shinawatra visited universities in Korea before attending the summit.
The female prime minister came to Korea to attend the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit (Seoul NSS) which was held from March 26 to 27 with more than 53 heads of state and international organizations attending.
At the same hour Barack Obama, President of the United States, visited Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) and Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia gave a speech at Yonsei University. Hungary President Pal Schmitt also visited HUFS on March 29.
The special lecture was organized by the Office of Global Affairs. Over 130 students, including 10 Ewha students from Thailand attended the event, along with Ewha officials and ambassadors from the Royal Thai Embassy.