A change for bet­ter

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

Well, not long ago, the com­mon no­tion was men for work and women to serve men. There was hardly an in­stant when women broke that shell of con­fine­ment. But over the years, peo­ple’s mind­set has dras­ti­cally evolved. Slowly women started com­ing out and putting their feet on where men have. Be it pol­i­tics or any­where, women also stand on high­est or­ga­ni­za­tional chart.

But still there is long way to go. Look­ing at the num­ber of women par­lia­men­tar­i­ans, it seems we have taken u-turn. From 10 in the 1st gen­eral elec­tion, the num­ber has dropped to 6 in the last elec­tion. Even in the lo­cal gov­ern­ment male-fe­male ra­tio shows male dom­i­na­tion. Now, ques­tion here is; Is it be­cause peo­ple con­sider women as in­fe­rior gen­der or is it be­cause women them­selves are not tak­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties?

The study con­ducted by the NCWC cited gen­der stereo­types, do­mes­tic obligations and low self-es­teem as the ma­jor rea­sons hold­ing back women from step­ping for­ward to take part in pol­i­tics. Tra­di­tions and cul­ture were cited as hin­drance for women to par­tic­i­pate po­lit­i­cal move­ments.

While ‘quota’ op­tion to en­cour­age women par­tic­i­pa­tion can bear some fruits, there are many such lit­tle ini­tia­tives that can change the face of this is­sue but how far? Our gov­ern­ment in the past had tried ev­ery pos­si­ble ways to bring all women at fore­front but only a sec­tion came for­ward.

Women are equally ca­pa­ble and are given equally op­por­tu­ni­ties but still their pres­ence is felt lesser ev­ery­where. What could be the prob­lem?

Even if gov­ern­ment pro­vide quota or place other op­tions in the next elec­tion, con­firm­ing their seat in the Par­lia­ment will be very dif­fi­cult. For some un­known rea­sons, men seem faring well in win­ning races ev­ery­where.

Ed­u­cat­ing and em­pow­er­ing cer­tainly will help bring more women for­ward but that has been done al­ready. There are equally num­ber of male-fe­male stu­dents in all schools, but still more women seem los­ing the track in be­tween.

Get­ting ex­po­sure to out­side world will also en­cour­age more women to par­tic­i­pate in de­ci­sion mak­ing process but ev­ery­where in the world, ma­jor­ity of men holds key po­si­tions.

Thus, we should al­ways keep sup­port­ing women in bring­ing them for­ward but we must not ex­pect things to change in short pe­riod. Ex­pect­ing equally num­ber of men-women par­lia­men­tar­i­ans in elec­tion will be im­pos­si­ble but at least from 6, num­ber should go up.

But at the end of the day it must be the laws that must al­low fe­male to come for­ward and par­tic­i­pate in pol­i­tics. As women con­sti­tute more than 50% of the pop­u­la­tion, we must nur­ture, sup­port and re­spect their way to po­lit­i­cal life. For this our men­tal­ity has to change and change is nec­es­sary for the devel­op­ment of a na­tion.

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