Elections: The dzongkhag election office in Bumthang is seeing more women register for the functional literacy test (FLT) that will be held on April 30.

Of the 85 registered for the FLT, 53 are women.

Chumey gewog has the highest number of women (21) registered for the FLT, followed by Chhoekhor with 18.

Men still dominate in Tang with only three women contesting against 15 men.

Ura Gewog has five men and six women. Thromde has five men and four women.

Dzongkhag election officer, Ugyen Choden, said that the office expects more registration. “We have issued forms through gewogs. We have been encouraging women to contest through different means.”

Bumthang has only one woman local leader. “Some women were expressing interest to contest for tshogpa but don’t know how when they will participate in the elections,” Ugyen Choden said.

Tang’s administrative officer, Sonam Dendup, said that the office expects more women to show interest. “They try to avoid criticism by not registering early.”

During the voter’s education programme for the Chamkhar thromde held at Jampa Lhakhang on April 11, Bumthang Dzongdag Phub Tshering said that women should come forward and should not be concerned about shame if they lost the elections.

There are 81 FLT certificate holders in Bumthang – 73 men and eight are women.

Nima Wangdi | Bumthang