Nima Wangdi

Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering during the National Assembly yesterday said that Bhutan does not have gender inequality.

This was in response to MP for Khar-Yurung Tshering Chhoden’s question.

Tshering Chhoden asked Lyonchhen what is being done in preparation to achieve the gender goal of 50 percent women leadership representation by 2030. She said that the minutes of the world conference of women in 1995 in Beijing set this goal.

She also said that Bhutan has only 16.5 percent women representation in Parliament, 12.6 percent in Local Government, 39.8 percent in civil service, and 18 percent at the executive level.

Lyonchhen said that increasing women’s representation in leadership should be seen through capacity building and creating a conducive environment for women to enhance their participation or through the introduction of a quota system.

He said that women’s representation is increasing in the country and there is no need to change existing policies.

“Those countries that set quotas for female representation in leadership have not been able to achieve anything yet,” Lyonchhen said.

Bhutanese schools in the 1980s had fewer female students but the number is picking up, according to Lyonchhen. “Except for Sherubtse College and College of Science and Technology, other colleges have almost equal male and female students.”

Lyonchhen also said that the country enacted a National Gender Equality Policy. “Bhutan is an exemplary country when it comes to gender equality.”