Jigmi Wangdi

Themed, “ICPD Dash: Race to Three Zeroes”, 27 Y-PEER members in the country attended a two-day workshop in Thimphu. 

Endorsed by the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt in 1994, the three zeroes goal aims towards zero unmet needs for family planning information and services, zero tolerance to sexual and gender-based violence, and zero preventable maternal and child mortality. 

The participants were introduced to different aspects of Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) issues and services that are currently available in the country. 

Facilitated by professionals from relevant fields, the participants had sessions on adolescent-friendly health Services, harmful cultural practices, technology-facilitated gender-based violence, and digital advocacy and campaign. 

Rinchen Zangmo, a Y-PEER member from Royal Thimphu College said that the sessions were insightful and would help shape the community into a better and safer place to live in. 

“Moving forward, I am eager to apply what I have learnt and continue my journey of growth and self-improvement,” she said. 

Another Y-PEER member from Paro College of Education, Tashi Bumpa, said that he learnt gender-based violence is one of the current issues prevalent around the world and it is important to take precautions to reduce such problems in the society.

With modernisation, it is important to talk about such issues, he added. “From this programme, I have learnt that gender-based violence is very prominent and we should not normalise it in our society.”

As a peer educator, he hopes to share his knowledge with the other peers in his college.  

Rinchen Zangmo said that the diverse perspectives learned from the workshop would be useful in changing mindsets. “We can help others to learn about the issues that are not normalised in our community,” she added. 

Project proposals were collected from nine Y-PEER networks in the country based on the two zeroes—zero unmet needs for family planning information and services and zero tolerance to sexual and gender-based violence— from which the best four were selected for a nominal implementation fund. 

Y-PEER Bhutan was initiated as a youth-led group with the Programme and Youth Coordination Division in 2012 to promote SRHR among youth through peer-to-peer approach, based in the colleges under the Royal University of Bhutan.  

The event was conducted in collaboration with UNFPA Bhutan.