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Thai women reply to ‘don't dress sexy’ advice with their own hashtag

Indy 100 14/04/2018 indy100 staff

a group of people walking in the rain © Provided by Independent Print Limited

Officials in the Thai government sparked controversy last month when they suggested that women should dress more appropriately in public. 

According to the Bangkok Post Department of Local Administration director-general, Sutthipong Chulcharoen said that authorities would encourage women to dress appropriately during April's Songkran festival, in order to avoid being the victims of sex crimes, as the traditional festival usually features water-gun battles which can leave revellers soaking wet.

This archaic approach to dealing with sexual harassment obviously didn't sit well with the locals - particularly local model, actress and TV personality Cindy Sirinya Bishop who created a hashtag in response.

 #DontTellMeHowToDress was created when she addressed the issue in a video shared on her Facebook and Instagram pages that quickly went viral. 

The video has since been viewed almost 500,000 times online and has created an empowering movement in Thailand.

Many have since begun using the hashtag on Twitter in support of the campaign.

Cindy has since shared her thanks online for the support the campaign has received from around the world. 

When speaking to Bloomberg Cindy believed that the reason the movement had become so popular in Thailand, as opposed to #MeToo, was down to the countries more conservative values.

Maybe the reason this is taking off faster is because they’re not coming out and accusing anyone.

Our society is quite conservative, and for someone to come out and point a finger at someone who’s assaulted her is huge, I don’t know if we’re ready for it yet.

According to statistics from the Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation, 59 per cent of 1,650 women who took part in a survey said that they had experienced harassment during past festivals. 

The festival is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Asian country, with approximately 547,000 foreigners expected to attend.

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