Bhutan’s gen­der in­equal­ity in­dex

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Pen­jor

Bhutan dif­fers greatly in size from it clos­est re­gional neigh­bors and also dif­fers in the his­tory of planned de­vel­op­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the Bhutan Gen­der Equal­ity Di­ag­nos­tic of Se­lected Sec­tors (GEDSS) re­ports it states that, Bhutan’s gen­der in­equal­ity in­dex in 2012 was less un­equal than the neigh­bor­ing coun­tries with .464. Whereas, for neigh­bor­ing coun­tries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Pak­istan and In­dia had .485, .518, .567 and .610 re­spec­tively. But the Repub­lic of China is the least un­equal in gen­der in­equal­ity with .213.

The re­port says that gen­der in­equal­ity is the com­pos­ite mea­sure re­flect­ing in­equal­ity in achieve­ment be­tween women and men in three di­men­sions like re­pro­duc­tive health, em­pow­er­ment, and the labour mar­ket. The low­est value is the least un­equal.

In terms of ma­ter­nal mor­tal­ity ra­tios, Bhutan re­main high­est at 180 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010; but this has come down from an es­ti­mated 430 deaths in 2000 which is a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment in a short pe­riod of time and the lit­er­acy rate for women aged 15 and over is lower in Bhutan that is 65 male / 39 fe­male in the year 2005-2010 but Bhutan has made rapid progress in re­cent decades in in­creas­ing ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion and achiev­ing gen­der par­ity in ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion, states the re­port.

Min­is­ter for Works and Hu­man Set­tle­ment and the Chair­per­son of Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Women and Chil­dren, Ly­onpo Dorji Cho­den said, nu­mer­ous pro­jected pro­gram tar­geted to­wards women em­pow­er­ment and our ed­u­ca­tion. Aware­ness pro­gram is a con­tin­u­ing pro­gram and this is some of the pro­gram that we are un­der tak­ing. This are ini­tia­tive since the ear­lier plan but now with the fur­ther ex­panded and ex­ag­ger­ated un­der the broad 11th Five Year Plan’s goal cre­at­ing en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for a women par­tic­i­pat­ing.

Women are poorly rep­re­sented in decision-mak­ing po­si­tion in Par­lia­ment and the civil ser­vices in the coun­try. The re­port on Bhutan Gen­der Equal­ity Di­ag­nos­tic of Se­lected Sec­tors (GEDSS) states that, few women be­came mem­bers of Par­lia­ment in the first round of na­tional demo­cratic elec­tion in 2008.

Some of the con­tribut­ing fac­tors that re­sults in the less num­ber of women par­tic­i­pated in the pol­i­tics are that the re­ports shows that, the small num­ber of women who stood as can­di­dates, the high min­i­mum qual­i­fi­ca­tion, a univer­sity de­gree, which tends to ex­clude more women than men and the small pool of women in the se­nior pub­lic ser­vice that pro­vided the ma­jor tal­ent pool for elec­toral can­di­dates.

The re­ports fur­ther states that, dur­ing the sec­ond par­lia­ment in 2013, this elec­tion re­sulted in even fewer elected women. Women ac­counted for three of the 47 mem­bers elected to the Na­tional Assem­bly in 2013, com­pared with four in 2008; and no women were elected to the Na­tional Coun­cil in 2013, com­pared with three in the 2008.

The rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women in the civil ser­vice, par­tic­u­larly at the up­per lev­els with the most in­flu­ence on de­ci­sions about the pol­icy was also not very much com­pared to the male. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, in 2012, women ac­counted for 36 per­cent of all civil ser­vants and only six per­cent of civil ser­vants in the ex­ec­u­tive cat­e­gory. There is only one woman among the twenty Dzongdags, very few judges are women.

Mean­while, the Bhutan Gen­der Equal­ity Di­ag­nos­tic of Se­lected Sec­tors ( GEDSS) re­port was launched on 26th Au­gust by Ly­onpo Dorji Cho­den.

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