Panusaya, a leader of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration group, made international headlines in August when she read out a 10-point manifesto for monarchy reform at a Bangkok rally.
She is among three Thais on the BBC’s “100 Women of 2020” list.
The other two are Kotchakorn Voraakhom, an urban landscape architect, and Cindy Sirinya Bishop, an actress, model and TV host who also campaigns to end violence against women.
Kotchakorn began her work by prising apart the “cracked pavement” of Bangkok’s sprawling cityscape and letting the seedlings of fresh ideas burst through, said the BBC. She seeks to nurture public and green spaces so as to make megacities more liveable and resistant to climate change.
Cindy was this year appointed UN Women regional goodwill ambassador for gender equality through education, communities and governments. She made headlines by founding the #DontTellMeHowToDress movement in 2018 after authorities told women not to look “sexy” if they wanted to avoid sexual assault at Songkran.
Women shortlisted in the BBC’s list this year come from a wide variety of professions. They include Sanna Marin, who leads Finland’s all-female coalition government, Michelle Yeoh, a rising star in Hollywood, and Sarah Gilbert, who heads Oxford University’s research into a coronavirus vaccine.
This year’s list highlights women who are leading change in turbulent times.