English | Dzongkha Sunday, July 21, 2019

A new report reveals women still lagging behind men

Aug 26, 2014

GenderInequalityBhutan’s drive for gender equality has made good progress in recent decades. However, a new collaborative report of the National Commission for Women and Children, the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations in Bhutan says women are still lagging behind men in many areas.

“So far we have been making plain statements on various gender issues with limited statistics and analysis,” says Dorji Choden, minister of works and human settlement while launching the report yesterday. “Now this report has critically examined and analysed these statements.

“For example on the matrilineal inheritance, which we claim to give more economic empowerment to women, is this really true? Does it really give empowerment to the women? Or is it just a customarily practice. Just a burden to women,” questioned the minister.

Francesco Tornieri, the Principal Social Development Specialist, of the Asian Development Bank shared there is no open discrimination in Bhutan but women are held back by gender stereotypes and the deep-rooted views about their roles in family and society. He mentioned that the report also goes down deep into sectorial issues Bhutan face.

“One of the myths is that not all sectors are potentially open to gender mainstreaming, but I think Bhutan teaches us it is indeed not true, we can indeed take gender equality and women’s empowerment approach is pretty much across all sectors. So this is one of the key elements of the report compared to other reports,” he added.

He also added that Bhutan could do a lot to improve gender equality and should mainly focus on tertiary education, employment and leadership roles for women in government.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Bhutan, Christina Carlson, said contrary to the general consensus, there is evidence that there are influential and deep-rooted gender stereotypes and norms that are largely invisible and greatly underestimated.

“The transition from agriculture to other employment opportunities has been a much slower process for women than men in Bhutan. And women remaining in agricultural work face particular challenges, including a heavier workload than their male counterparts,” she said, adding that Bhutanese women continue to remain poorly represented in decision making positions, while tolerance for domestic violence by both sexes continues to be high across social groups.

Meanwhile, Bhutan’s 11th Five Year Plan has mandated government agencies to implement gender-sensitive policies and mainstream gender in their programmes.

The report is the first comprehensive analysis of gender equality and women’s status in eight selected sectors. It provides a platform to understand, plan and initiate interventions in these sectors.

The gender inequality index in the report shows that Bhutan is doing better than Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India.

2 Comments for “A new report reveals women still lagging behind men”

  1. Karma Tshering

    Why is that there is always a issue on women-men in modern times?
    Lets not generalize that women are behind men, in fact it is other way round in most cases.
    The economic independence and rise of women is infact responsible for i believe the rising case of marital woes in Bhutan.

    Lets put an end to this topic….Both men and women are equally important in the world, in human civilization….

  2. Panorama

    Do we really need an external agency to point out that the Bhutanese Women are lagging behind the Men?
    Anyone with a normal human sense can see that.

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