The need for women lead­ers

Business Bhutan - - Editoria -

De­spite pro­claim­ing it­self a gen­der-neu­tral coun­try, Bhutan has only 15% women rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Par­lia­ment, one of the low­est in the world. In fact, women rep­re­sen­ta­tion in po­si­tions of lead­er­ship, gov­er­nance and pol­i­tics has al­ways been sparse in Bhutan.

Start­ing from the 2008 par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, which saw 10 women can­di­dates from the two par­ties and 14% of them elected to the 2013 elec­tions where 10 women took part and 8% of them were elected. Also, the first fe­male min­is­ter was ap­pointed af­ter the sec­ond demo­cratic elec­tions. The third elec­tions in 2018 saw all five women can­di­dates from Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa elected and two from Druk Phuen­sum Tshogpa’s five women can­di­dates elected while two women can­di­dates from Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party and six women can­di­dates from Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party in­clud­ing the Pres­i­dent herself lost in the pri­mary elec­tions. There was a sta­tus quo in women rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the first two elec­tions but the num­ber went up to 18 in 2018, a rise by less than 50% in par­tic­i­pa­tion. Only about 15% of the par­lia­ment is formed by women now.

While we do see that women in Bhutan are slowly vy­ing for roles be­yond the hearth, we need more de­bate on the role of men and women and why we need more women lead­ers.

How­ever, there is a cru­cial con­text we should take into ac­count while dis­cussing this. Ev­ery­body knows that men are women are dif­fer­ent by all ac­counts-bi­o­log­i­cally, phys­i­cally, emo­tion­ally and men­tally. So when women or peo­ple say that women are bet­ter than men or vice versa, it does not make sense be­cause women and men are to­tally dif­fer­ent by na­ture and they flour­ish and pros­per in po­si­tions and fields which ac­cen­tu­ate their na­ture. Oc­cu­pa­tions which go against the very grain of their na­ture is not even rec­om­mended for women, leave com­pet­ing with men.

Con­sider the woman’s curves and the man’s an­gu­lar lines. What we have to un­der­stand is women are softer and nur­tur­ers by na­ture (their bod­ies were not created to be moth­ers by freak of na­ture; it was in fact de­signed by na­ture). And women there­fore are com­pas­sion­ate, too. They look out for oth­ers. And what bet­ter way to cap­i­tal­ize on this lovely trait than by en­cour­ag­ing them to lead? (Yes, we need both men and women lead­ers).

Whether it be pol­i­tics, medicine, academia, the arts or even a full-time home­maker, women can shape, in­spire and raise gen­er­a­tions who will live out their full po­ten­tial and con­trib­ute to hu­man­ity.

While men and women should cer­tainly be com­ple­ment­ing each other in their roles (they were made for each other not against each other), both re­quire equal op­por­tu­ni­ties and free­dom to be and do the best they can, and that means that women might need more im­pe­tus, en­cour­age­ment and in­cen­tives than men in cer­tain ar­eas they are lack­ing be­cause it is ev­i­dent from his­tory that a great di­vide has been created be­tween men and women in terms of progress, priv­i­leges and ad­vance­ment sim­ply be­cause women were not given the op­por­tu­ni­ties they de­served like ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion and ex­po­sure.

It must also be noted that men bash­ing is a very petty level of fem­i­nism if we can call it that. True fem­i­nism should cel­e­brate the strengths, po­ten­tial and beauty of the woman in­stead of the weak­nesses and re­gres­sion and flaws of man. True fem­i­nism should love women with­out hat­ing men: as sim­ple as that.

At the end, men and women were meant to in­habit, thrive and pop­u­late the earth. And liv­ing in syn­ergy with un­der­stand­ing, love and com­pas­sion to­wards each other is the only way for the hu­man species to sur­vive and move for­ward.

Mean­while, women lead­ers can bring a whole new per­spec­tive to the role of a leader. She can calm, soothe, heal, mo­ti­vate yet she can still prac­tice tough love to bring about de­sired re­sults be­cause a ma­ture and ca­pa­ble woman knows how to lead with both the heart and the head.

Let us shout out to all the women lead­ers out there who are al­ready mak­ing a dif­fer­ence by their per­se­ver­ance and tenac­ity in the face of chal­lenges that re­quire bal­anc­ing of mul­ti­ple ar­eas and roles in their life and na­ture. And let us en­cour­age would-be, as­pir­ing ones to take up the man­tle of shin­ing their light in a world that needs their awe­some­ness.

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