Staff Reporter 

National Assembly’s Women Children and Youth Committee tabled six recommendations to improve gender equality in the country on January 24.

The committee’s chairperson and Member from Sangbaykha, Dorjee Wangmo,  presented the report on the SDG 5 – Gender Equality to the House today.

The committee recommended establishing a strong and effective legal and policy framework, strengthen gender-friendly wellbeing and child wellbeing, and promote job opportunities to reduce female unemployment.

The committee’s report stated that there is also a need to promote a multi-sectoral coordination mechanism to understand the issue of gender and child and promote corporation and ownership.

“Carry out more awareness and sensitization in programs, capacity building initiatives and mainstreaming gender and child issues in legislation, policies, plans and programme,” Dorji Wangmo said.

“Another recommendation is to promote or prioritise resources such as technical, financial and human resources for gender equality and child protection and wellbeing.”

The National Key Result Area 10 of the 12th Plan aims to promote gender equality by creating adequate support and enabling facilities for women and girls removing the barriers that limit their potential that has direct relevance with the Sustainable Development Goal 5.

According to the committee, one of the key challenges in achieving gender parity is in tertiary education where female enrollment continues to be lower with 85 girls for every 100 boys within Bhutan. “However, NCWC is targeting 90 girls for every 100 boys by the end of the 12th Plan.”

The committee also observed that women’s representation at a decision- making level is moderately lower than male counterparts in the Parliament with only 15.3 percent and similarly in local government with two gups,  mangmi 24, and tshogpa 136, 15 executives, and 23 specialists.

The labour force participation rate is significantly higher than males at 73.1 percent compared to 52.2 percent for female. “Female youth unemployment of 12.9 percent is also higher compared to male unemployment rate at 9.2 percent and it also revealed that women are engaged in lower-quality jobs,” the committee’s chairperson said.

“The gender-based violence against women also remains one of the obstacles to the realisation of gender equality and women’s empowerment.”

As per the Global Gender Gap Report 2018,  Bhutan is ranked at 122 out of 149 which is low.

The House asked the committee to discuss the recommendations including those new ones,  and frame appropriate recommendation and submit it to the House tomorrow.