The fire female bird year started with debates on whether it was necessary to have a quota system in place for larger women representation in elections or whether it would undermine and question the capabilities and qualities of a woman in electoral positions.

The quota system did not come into effect but suggestions were put forward to enhance women’s capacity through education, awareness, and creating a conducive environment for women to contest in elections.

A workshop was held to understand the situation of women working in drayangs, where women still battle with the challenge of working during odd hours, accept improper pay scale and how the operation of drayangs even after closing time due to the lack of stricter monitoring from stakeholders affect them.

The much-awaited six months maternity leave was implemented in state-owned enterprises.

Children especially, in the rural areas in the eastern part of the country, were found to be stunt. Health officials claim that care, nutrition in the food, and hygiene played a vital role in child development.

The multidimensional poverty was also found to be the highest among children aged 9 and below according to the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), calling for special attention to children.

The legality of Bhutan Children Parliament (BCP) that was adopted in 2015 was questioned. Although it was initiated to help students enhance leadership skills and facilitate the formulation of opinions, views, hopes and aspirations in real life situations, some said that there were risks of children getting politicised.

While children were seen engaging in meaningful activities such as the evening study, drama competition, martial arts, and sports, over 4,000 children in the country were reported to have abused substances in the last one year.

Rinchen Zangmo