LG: If 34-year-old Lhaki Wangmo and 51-year-old Sonam from Nanong in Pemagatshel manage to woo the voters during the upcoming Local Government (LG) election, Nanong could be the only gewog in the country with two female local leaders.

And, if they win, they would like to set an example for women in the country.

Lhaki Wangmo, who graduated from Institute of Language and Culture Studies, is a mother of two. She is waiting for the functional literacy test (FLT) result. She will contest for the position of gup.

With encouragement and support from most of the villagers, Lhaki Wangmo said that she decided to contest for the position because she believes nothing is impossible. She is confident.

“After graduation, I thought I’d look for a job and settle down quietly. But a few months back, people urged me to take part in the election,” said Lhaki. “Why struggle looking for a job when you have opportunity right at the door. I believe in nothing is impossible.”

Lhaki said that although many people are supportive of her decision, she cannot be certain of what could happen on the poll day.

Lhaki has been living in the village for last two months to learn more about her gewog and people. “I’m confident of what I want to become or what I want to do so. I know I can shoulder the responsibilities of a gup. This is my decision and I am not backing off.”

Sonam, who is the tshogpa of Woongchiloo Chiwog, said that it was her interest that led her to take part in the election. She is standing for the post of mangmi.

“I want to continue to serve the gewog because I have dealt with people’s problem personally. I feel I still have more to do for them,” said the mother of two. “I am well prepared for the upcoming election. I do not know whether people will accept me as their mangmi.”

She is not the one to give up easily. She wants people to see what happens when a woman is given bigger responsibilities.

In Norbugang Gewog, 40-year-old Sonam Zangmo is also standing for the post of mangmi. Her elder brother will contest for gup.

Sonam Zangmo said that with her brother contesting for gup, she opted for mangmi. If she doesn’t succeed, that wouldn’t be the end of it for her.  She will stand for the position of tshogpa.  “I just want to give a try and do something instead of sitting at home doing nothing. Sometimes, I visit incumbent gup and mangmi to learn about the responsibilities and to prepare myself for the election.”

Fifty-seven women in Pemagatshel sat FLT.

Yangchen C Rinzin |  Pemagatshel