As they prepare for the International Women’s Day on March 8

Awareness: With the International Women’s Day scheduled on March 8, various agencies have started raising awareness on some of the pressing issues concerning girls and women today.

A three-day workshop Chithuen Phendey Association (CPA) organized started in Thimphu yesterday. Different women from government, non-governmental organization (NGO) and private sector including the film industry were invited to speak on various issues such as being proud of one’s femininity, the importance of expressing oneself, sex education and the ongoing debate of whether women should be given quota in the Parliament.

National referral hospital’s Gynecologist Dr Ugyen Tshomo, told participants that ranged from high school students to representatives from various organizations, that young adolescents be taught about sex education in schools and at home.

“Most cases we see in the hospital are young women who are pregnant at an early age. The child is more or less fatherless because the boy refuses to give his identification to register the child,” Dr Ugyen Tshomo said. “It is a sad reality that they have to face at an early stage of life. It is important that young girls be made aware of such issues.”

Representative from the CPA, Punam, said women have been the key factor in holding families together and it is important for them to create aware of such issues.

The workshop is held not  only to create awareness for substance and alcohol abuse but also to let women in the country know that there are various organizations for them to seek advice or consultation from experts, she said. “There are CPA and other government and non-governmental organizations that caters to address such issues.”

We hope that through such platforms, we will be able to change and save lives, prevent potential abusers from falling into habits and to give hope to those who are lost, she added. “Together we can work towards a sober and safer Bhutan.”

A participant, Lachi Maya, 19, a student of Kelki Higher Secondary School, said such platforms are important for young girls like her to learn about how to overcome various obstacles that come her way.

“For example, if a girl is raped at an early age, she shouldn’t feel shy or hesitate but immediately seek for help since there are many organizations and NGO ready to help,” Lachi Maya said. “I’m going to advise my friends and family of what I learned during the workshop and hopefully I will able to change someone’s life too.”

The workshop ends tomorrow.

Thinley Zangmo