Consultation on National Action Plan for Women’s Political Equality

20 Nov 2013

Paro, 20 November 2013 – UNDP with the National Commission of Women and Children (NCWC) will hold a consultation on the National Action Plan for Women’s Political Equality in Paro to  prioritize socio-legal protection of women, economic empowerment and gender equality from 21-22 November. This effort is translated through gender mainstreaming efforts at legal and policy interventions and advocacy and awareness programs supported by UNDP Bhutan. 

Despite Bhutan’s good position on the gender scale, the participation of Bhutanese women at the local government, particularly at the decision making level is minimal. During the local government elections in 2011-2012, only 1 of 205 block leaders and 12 of 205 deputy block leaders elected were women. However, the participation of women in local village meetings far exceeded men although effective participation still is an issue. Keeping these issues in mind, since 2012 the UN Women in collaboration with UNDP and other development partners have launched nationwide gender sensitization and awareness programmes. 

The two day consultation is one of the many efforts that will promote women’s political equality. In addition to a presentation on  the UNDP Regional Report Gender Equality in Elected Office in Asia Pacific: Six Actions to Expand Women’s Empowerment,  various models of political recruitment and reconciling public/private responsibilities will be presented and discussed in the meeting. The participants  will also be introduced on how to  incorporate new ideas to existing programs, cultivate support and overcome opposition – who to target and how. 

It is hoped that the outcomes of the consultation will lead to a framework to draw National Action Plan for Women’s Political Equality which will address the challenges women faced in their participation in politics and governance and also identify resources to support the Plan. It is expected that members of parliament, government representatives, and civil society leaders will attend the consultations. The event will take place at the Khangkhu Resort in Paro.