Talk about gender inequality and we are far ahead of the nations that propound the idea of equality between sexes.

Perhaps the only shortfall with our society is that we are used to taking advice from outside even if there is no relevance to our system of living. We have not been able to shape, more importantly assert, our culture and beliefs besides some development philosophy that have gained much popularity on the international stage.

We are heading to the third parliamentary elections. We do not have good enough women representatives. It’s a pity but we need to understand the fact in the real perspective. Our women are unwilling to participate in the election processes not because they think they are less able than men. They think taking women’s role of raising family more important.

We have enough examples of women who can outdo men in the service of the nation and the communities. We have ministers, secretaries, dashos and leaders in the sectors that are helping the nations wade past the current facing a nation that is determined to move ahead. Our women have done us proud.

What is uplifting about our women’s take on gender difference is that sure of their foothold. In any country outside Bhutan, women’s quota would have been a sensible approach to achieving some sort of gender equality. The Bhutanese women do not see it that way. They are of the view that proving their capability is more important that sitting on the space created for them to play their part.

Our election is not about how many men or women are participating to represent their communities; it is about who we elect to represent us in the Parliament in the way that it benefits communities and the nation at large. The debate about which party has more women representative is so utterly irrelevant.

As political gear shifts to a more heated ground, the real concern in every Bhutanese heart should be what value an individual vote counts for. There will be campaigns and differences. That is politics. But voter participation is more important. How are our political parties engaging our voters without divisive messages?

Bringing political debate back to focus is important. Elections are not about women or divisive politics. It is about furthering the dreams of a forward-looking nation. It is about the courage of a person or a group of individuals to fight the currents problems facing the nation like growing youth unemployment and decreasing farmhands in the rural pockets of the country. Elections are about bad roads and empty promises that politicians have made to the people.

Our women have and will continue to represent themselves in the place and manner they see fit. Do not politicise our women. In a way, they are as mothers of our nation, above politics.