Gender equality and women empowerment, as 10th National Key Result Area has been incorporated in the 12th Plan, works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden, said at the National Assembly on November 21.

Lyonpo Dorji Choden who is also the chairperson of National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) said this in response to Dogar-Shaba MP, Kezang Wangmo’s question on the initiatives and achievements in her capacity as the Chairperson of the Commission.

“We sat together with Gross National Happiness Commission and finance ministry and included gender equality and women empowerment in the 12th Plan,” lyonpo said.

She added that the Marriage Act is being revised for clauses and sections that could be problematic and irrelevant for women.

To facilitate increased women participation at workplace, about 10 childcare centres at work place in the capital were established and nine more are in the offing. “Women suffer the most when children are infants and most of them resign to look after their children,” Lyonpo Dorji Choden said adding that maternity leave of six months for all sectors is also one of the achievements.

She added that internal framework to address gender related issues at work place was presented during the Gender Focal Points meeting on October 19 this year.

In collaboration with Civil Soceity Organisations such as Tarayana Foundation and Bhutan Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAOWE), NCWC provides training to women for them to sustain themselves. “Women are trained to develop their skills. It is for those women who are dependent on others for their livelihood.”

NCWC also works with various organisations to educate, inform, and make people aware of the issues related to women and children.

Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that studies are important to understand the situation adding that the study called violence against children and young people have been completed.

It documents the type and frequency of violence suffered by girls and boys from ages 13-17 years and also young people between 18-23 years.

Rinchen Zangmo