In Thailand, women can't ordain as monks. This is enforced by the Sangha Council of Thailand, the country's supreme religious rule-making body. The institution insists that female ordination is not permitted according to the dhamma vinaya -- the complex code guiding behavior for monks.
But one woman has devoted her life to overriding that rule. In 2003, she ordained abroad and returned as Thailand's first female monk, known as a Bhikkhuni. Known as the Venerable Dhammananda, she is now leading dozens of other women into the monkhood. The Sangha Council, however, is not budging. According to the Bangkok Post, several Bikkhunis were blocked from paying respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Grand Palace. Now in her seventies, Dhammananda continues to speak out. But what are the deeper historical grounds for the ban? And how will the Bhikkhunis proceed? Join us at the FCCT for a panel discussion on this controversy.
, Thailand's first female monk.
Dr. Sutada Mekrungruengkul
, National Institute of Development Administration -- an academic who focuses on gender and religion
Dr. Sathien Wipornmaha
, president of the Association of Scholars for Buddhism.
We have also invited a representative from the Sangha Council.
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