A LARGE majority of older secondary schoolgirls in Thailand reportedly consume more than five glasses of alcohol during drinking sessions, a recent study stated during a Bangkok seminar yesterday.
The discussion titled “Truth about women and alcohol: Impacts to be burdened” was held at a Lak Si Hotel by the Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation (WMP), the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth) and the Stop Drink Network.
Savitree Assanangkornchai, director of the Centre for Alcohol Studies, told the audience that one in 50 Thai women drank alcohol on a weekly basis because of easy access, the desire to socialise and party with others, and alcohol beverage advertising.
She also said 75 per cent of surveyed teenage girls in the last two years of secondary school responded that they consumed more than five glasses of alcohol when drinking.
In addition to problems related to drinking such as accidents, fights and sexual harassment, Savitree warned that alcohol affected women differently because their metabolism was slower than men’s, which could cause chronic illnesses such as breast cancer.
Women drinking during their pregnancies and while breastfeeding also risked their foetuses and babies’ development, she added. Angkhana Inthasa, head of WMP gender equality promotion, cited a 2012-2016 joint report finding that among 1,136 women subjected to domestic and sexual violence, about 29.3 per cent or 333 cases reportedly stemmed from alcohol consumption.
She said the number of female drinkers was on the rise and contributing factors were stress and promotion campaigns by alcoholic beverage firms.
In families with male drinkers, female members were also disproportionately subjected to aggression and violence, and in some cases male drinkers then committed sexual assaults, rape or physical assault, she said.