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Langa Tenzin – WNN Opinion

First woman governor of Bhutan Namgay Peldon, November 2011

Namgay Peldon, aged 28, sits at the Gup of Tashiding Gewog located in the governing house, known as the Dagana Dzongkhag of Bhutan in South Asia. She currently stands as the only female Gup (known as a Dzongda) or elected leader in Bhutan and is known for her dedication to supporting human rights and equality throughout the region. Image: Gurpreet Singh/UN Women

(WNN) Nangkor, BHUTAN: First of all, I would like to offer my hearty congratulations to the recently elected first women Dzongda [governor] and now the newly appointed woman Justice of the Supreme Court of Bhutan.  I am proud of our country when it comes to gender equality and the performance of the female gender which is looked down on in so many societies around the world. When I say this, I don’t mean to be construed that Bhutan has completely eliminated gender discrimination in its entirety though. There is still a lot to do and miles to go. But the signs are all positive and encouraging.

I am always of the view that our society is quite good in adapting and transforming. In some cases the susceptibility to change may backfire though. We have to be mindful of that. Otherwise such abilities to transform society for better are only praiseworthy. Doing away with the age old practices which are not favoured anymore in the present society shouldn’t be a big issue, but if there is any possibility that they be modified and bettered I would prefer going for that. I am sure many would see this view of mine as something which is easier said than done. It is true. And it’s worth a try, I must say.
The Bhutanese society like any other underwent a history, though relatively short, of differences based on class, region and gender but I feel that the issues of difference were not as pertinent as in other nations. Because of this, Bhutan may need lesser effort on our part to change and get better. We have to make good use of this advantage and over the years we have been proving it. If someone is capable, let him or her go for what his/her capability is worth. Many of us would agree that Bhutan is blessed in many areas compared to other societies.
Time and again, Bhutanese women have been proving that they are equally capable, if not more so, than men.
Who were the ones who represented Bhutan at the Olympics 2012 at London? They were women. Two of them went and took part in the international event which is a pride for all of us. I am very happy for them. Who heads the Anti Corruption Commission of Bhutan? Dasho Aum Neten Zam, again a lady. There are other ladies who are occupying important constitutional offices also, like the Election Commission. Our woman Secretary of the Ministry of Education is another example. And as we all know in Bhutan, we now also have a women Dzongda [governor].
As if all these women leaders were not enough, we have recently this month have our new woman Justice Tashi Chhozom, who was appointed to the honourable Apex Court of Bhutan on the 3rd of August. She is of course the first and only woman occupying such a prestigious office. More importantly, she is also the youngest of all the Supreme Court judges.
All those women had the opportunity as their capability took them through the door to go where they are today. Heartfelt appreciations go out to all of them. Congratulations to them with equal opportunity for all.
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A native of Nangkor, Bhutan, Mr. Langa Tenzin is currently in his third year studying law at NALSAR University in Hyderabad, India. In between his studies he currently travels back and forth between India and his home in Bhutan. His interests span human rights, society and the arts. For more information about Tenzin, you can link to his personal blog HERE

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