English | Dzongkha Monday, September 28, 2020

At least 2 in every 5 women experience violence according to a new report

Samten Dolkar, Thimphu
Mar 8, 2019

Bhutan’s first comprehensive national survey on the prevalence of violence against women and girls was launched coinciding with the International Women’s Day today. Her Royal Highness Princess Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck launched the report in Thimphu. 

The violence against women and girls survey was initiated in 2017 by the National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) with support from the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bhutan.

The two-year study surveyed more than 2,000 women and girls across the country. The findings revealed that more than two in every five women experiences one or more forms of violence from the partners in their lifetime. The form of violence includes physical, sexual, psychological and economic.

And almost one in three women experienced at least one of this violence in the last 12 months.

As per the report, the lifetime prevalence of physical violence by husband or partners was highest among the age group between 30 to 34 years, followed by the women aged 50-60 years.

The highest current prevalence of physical violence was among women aged 25 to 29 years followed by women aged 30 to 34 years

The report also looks at other types of violence against women, the impact of violence on women and their families, and what women do to seek help.

The study findings will serve as the foundation for understanding and integrating sensitivity and responsive interventions to enhance the protection and promotion of the rights of women and girls in the country.

The global theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is, ‘Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate Change.’ It focuses on innovative ways in which gender equality and the empowerment of women can be advanced, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.

The Director of NCWC, Kunzang Lhamu said the commission will continue its effort and commitment to address the issue and implement the recommendations from the study.

“The NCWC would also like to seek support and collaboration from all its partners in achieving its vision of creating an equal society where men and women, boys and girls live in harmony with equality and respect in all spheres of lives,” she added.

The UNDP Bhutan Resident Representative, Azusa Kubota reaffirmed UNDP’s commitment to ‘leaving no women behind’ and ensured continued support in eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

“Innovative approaches that disrupt business, as usual, are central to removing structural barriers and ensuring that no woman and girl is left behind,” she said.

“For the UNDP, promoting gender equality and empowerment is at the heart of our development agenda and we believe that without addressing violence, it is inevitable to realize it.”

Meanwhile, the national textile festival celebrating Bhutan’s women artisans opened at the centenary park in Thimphu to mark the International Women’s Day. Her Royal Highness graced the opening of the three-day festival.

The festival provides a platform for local artisans to showcase and exchange their knowledge and skills.

The Director-General of Department of Culture, Karma Weezir said as one of the largest gatherings of craftspersons in the country, the national textile festival over the years has created opportunities for individuals and communities across the country to celebrate share and sustain the vitality of folk, ethnic and traditional art.

“It has also been instrumental in revitalizing the traditional crafts of Bhutan by ensuring its continued growth and development.”

The textile festival is organized by the Textile Museum in collaboration with the Royal Textile Academy, RENEW and NCWC with funding support from Royal Government of Bhutan, UNDP, UN Women and UNFPA and Austrian Development Cooperation.

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