The History of the World Fellowship of Buddhist Standing Committee on Women
The Development of the Committee
The Standing Committee of Women was established on October 30 B.E. 2538 (1992). It is one of nine standing Committees of the World Fellowship of Buddhists: Finance; Publication, Publicity, Education, Culture & Art; Dhammadatu Activities; Humanitarian Services; Unity & Solidarity; Youth; Socio-Economic Development; Women; Buddhist Pancasila Samadanda.
Khunying Suthama Auychai (Thailand) was the first Chairwomen of the Protem Committee, elected by the Members, consisting of 7 officers and Dr. Sritaptim Panitpan (Thailand) as secretary of October 30, B.E. 2535-37 (1992-1994) at Fo Kuang Shan, Kaohiung, Taiwan. The Protem Committee had undertaken a variety of activities and programs of two years, until November 27, B.E. 2537 (1994) when Khunying Suthama Auychai had submitted her resignation from the Chairwoman to the Executive Council due to her personal reasons.
Dr. Sritaptim Panitpan had been elected as Acting Chairperson of the Committee held at the WFB nineteenth General Conference and the WFBY Ninth General Conference, at China Room, Imperial Queens Park Hotel Bangkok, Thailand.
At the Twentieth General Conference the WFB held from October 29 to November 2 B.E. 2541/ 1998 at the Nan Tien Temple, Berkeley, Wollongong, Australia, a new Standing Committee on Women was elected and chaired by Dr. Sritaptim Panitpan.
The Aims and Objectives of the Committee are as follows :
1. To uplift the status of women in society.
2. To Promote the roles of women in Buddhism.
3. To strengthen womens roles in the WFB.
4. To improve womens roles to assist the WFB in achieving its objectives.
5. To ensure equal opportunity of education for children.
THE ACTIVITIES OF THE COMMITTEE FROM B.E. 2535 - 2543 / 1992 - 2000 ( IN BRIEF)
1. The Constitution of the Committee was published.
2. Sending of many goodwill cards to the Board and EXCO members, President, Vice-President of WFB and Members on Magha-Puja Day, Visakha-Puja Day, New Year Day.
3. Many conferences were held on special occasions e.g. Roles of Thai Women in Buddhism; Roles of Women in Globalization; The Roles of Sangha in Child and Family Development.
4. Having closer contacts with Embassies in Bangkok, e.g. with Sri Lankan Embassy to exchange ideas, visions, etc. Concerning women children.
5. Having courtesy visits to WFB regional Centres in Australia , New Zealand.
6. Publishing and circulating 4 volumes of Newsletters to regional centres, members and various committees.
7. Producing a Brochure of the Committee
8. Establishing fund for the Committee; and so on.
The Program/ activities of the Committee in B.E. 2543- 2545 / 2000 - 2002
1. To Publish quarterly newsletters of the committee;
2. To assist Regional Centres in the formation of partnership;
3. To create networks between women groups of the WFB Regional Centres
4. To increase membership of Regional Centres representatives
5. To publish a booklet Womens roles in Buddhist Activities in WFB Regional Centres.
6. To provide a brochure of the Standing Committee on Women;
7. To conduct joint research on social services; women and children updated issues;
8. To exchange documents / information between the Committee and our Regional Centres;
9. To increase cultural exchange and awareness of the womens status in other cultures through field trips and student exchange programs;
10. To work towards ensuring educational equality for all children, regardless of gender
11. To publish the Buddhas teachings on women in our newsletters and to collate these into a booklet entitled The Buddhas Teachings on Women.
12. To place our brochure and newsletters on the Internet.
13. The Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd. as a Regional Centre, will edit and publish our newsletters on their Web Site.
The 2001-2002 Committee Members:
1. Chairperson :
Dr. Sritaptim Panitpan
2. Vice-Chairperson :
1) Mrs Wimala Somaratne (Sri Lanka)
2) Mrs. Hung Yi Shou (Taiwan)
3. Secretary : Mrs Kanchana Soonsawad (Thailand)
4. Assistant Secretary : Mrs Plumchit Chunhawat (Thailand)
5. Treasurer : Mrs Saiyood Uthaisri (Thailand)
6. Assistant Treasurer : Mrs Basanti Devi Bajracharya (Nepal)
Newly Appointed Positions:
Committee members were elected to fill the positions.
Receptionist : Assist. Prof. Kongkaew Charoenagsorn. (Thailand)
Public Relations : Anita Svensson (Australia)
Publications : Dr. Sritaptim Panitpan
a) Newsletter : Editor In Chief (four issues per year)
b) Womens roles in Buddhist Activities at WFB Regional Centres booklet
Liaison Officers of each regional centre :
1. Australia and New Zealand: Ms. Elizabeth Oski; Mrs. Anita Svensson and Mrs Nhu Hoa.
2. Nepal : Mrs. Basanti Devi Bajracharya
3. Sri Lanka : Taiwan : Mrs Hung Yi Shou
4. Thailand : Mrs Srinit Suvatipanich
Fundraising officer : Mrs Panee Wattnanpong (Thailand)
Our Honorary Advisor : H.E. Prof. Sanya Dharmasakti, former WFB President.
Our New Advisors :
1. Mr. Phan Wannamethee
2. Mr. Sunao Miyabara
3. Dato Khoo Leong Hun
4. Khunying Suthama Auychai
5. Lt. Gen. Chalom Wismol
6. Khunying Nongyao Chaiseri
7. Dr. Ananda W.P. Guruge