Thailand's Royal Police Cadet Academy has announced it will not admit female candidates from the next academic year. The Royal Police Cadet Academy (RPCA), on the western outskirts of Bangkok, accepts about 300 applicants a year. But from 2019 it will admit only men. Worawut Sripakhon, an RPCA captain, did not offer a reason for the new rule, saying: “It’s policy. We’re not allowed to give any more information than that.”
Under Thai law female rape victims must be interviewed by female officers, but according to UN Women 90% of rapes in the country go unreported. Jadet Chaowilai, director of the rights group Womwn and Men Progressive Movement, said “This is a very backward move for women’s rights and women’s safety in Thailand,” and “Victims may be embarrassed or reluctant to speak to male officers.” Women worked only in office and support roles in Thailand’s police force until 2009, when they were allowed to train as officers for the first time. Since then about 700 females have graduated as officers from the RPCA, which is more than 100 years old.