A gup and a mother

Tashiding’s incumbent woman gup says the post is easier than household chores and farming, will re-contest 

LG: Gup Namgay Pelden says that the apparently difficult task of serving at the post of gup turned out to be easier than anticipated.

She points out that serving as gup is even easier than farming and doing other household chores.

While there are challenges, Gup Namgay Pelden says women can overcome them.

Initially nervous, Namgay Pelden went on to win the 2011 elections. But self-doubt remained on whether she would be able to shoulder the responsibilities of gup while at the same also take care of her family.

Having successfully completed the five-year tenure and having gained enough experience and confidence, the lone woman gup has been encouraged to re-contest in the upcoming Local Government election from Tashiding gewog in Dagana.

“Based on my experience, so far I feel that for women, serving as a gup is easier than any other job,” she said, adding that she managed to effectively carryout her duties even during the most challenging days when she had to go on maternity leave just a year after becoming gup.

In 2012, when she was expecting to become a mother to her second child she became worried. She lived near the gewog centre and was able to work during her maternity days. She joined office 15 days after giving birth.

“These are areas of disadvantage for women local leaders but definitely not a discouragement,” she said. “However I managed to raise my baby as well as perform my duties without fail.”

Today, besides fulfilling her regular tasks as gup, she has also been actively involved in meeting other women aspiring to contest in the upcoming LG elections. She has been encouraging women to come forward and participate in the electoral process.

With advocacy and gender education, more women are showing interest to contest compared to the first LG election. While she meets some women personally, some even call her to ask about her experience of serving as a gup. “I expect that all those interested women will at least try,” she said.

The 32-year-old mother of two also said that people have appreciated the work she put in as gup and with encouragement from the public, she will be contesting for a second term. “I’m confident that I can do better this time to serve the people,” she said.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang

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