The Wider Image: Thailand's rebel female Buddhist monks defy tradition
A Thai woman devotee who ended her novice monkhood has her head cleaned by Dhammananda Bhikkhuni (R), 74, abbess at the Songdhammakalyani monastery, Nakhon Pathom province, Thailand, December 14, 2018. Officially, only men can become monks and novices in Thailand under a Buddhist order that, since 1928, has forbidden the ordination of women. A growing number of women defy generations of Thai Buddhist tradition by becoming ordained as novice monks at the unrecognised all-female monastery. Dhammananda flew to Sri Lanka to be ordained in 2001 as Thailand's first female monk. "It's been 90 years and the social context has changed, but they still don't accept us," she said. "It's a shame that women aren't allowed to make decisions for their own lives. You have to rebel against injustice because this is not right." REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha SEARCH "FEMALE MONKS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.