Fellow Since 1993
Women and Constitution Network
This profile was prepared when Naiyana Supapung was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1993.
The New Idea
Naiyana Supapung provides women with an understanding of their rights as citizens and helps them gain access to legal services to help protect these rights. Specifically, she targets women who are economically and socially marginalized–such as prostitutes and migrant workers–who traditionally have little access to legal information and assistance.Naiyana recognizes that in addition to legally protecting women whose rights have been violated, society must incorporate women's concerns and perspectives into the writing of the law. She encourages women to lobby for revising the law to encompass the rights of all women, including prostitutes, who are currently regarded as criminals rather than victims. In addition, Naiyana wants to ensure that all women receive fair and sensitive treatment within the legal system. To achieve that goal, she educates and trains those people who are in charge of enforcing the law–police officers, prosecuting lawyers, judges, and government officials–about the special legal problems and concerns that women face.