Date: 30 September 2014
Venue: Gewog Meeting Hall
Participants: More than 300 people of Kilkhorthang Gewog
The meeting was conducted coinciding with the Gewog Development Grants meeting with the public of five Chiwogs of Kikhorthang Gewog.
I had the privilege of participating in the training as a resource speaker.
The people present were given awareness on International Women’s Day celebrated every year on 8th March and its importance. The day is a time to reflect and celebrate acts of courage and determination of ordinary women who played an extraordinary role in the history worldwide.
Celebration of the day around the world have women speaker during the events; women from the government, community, business leaders, as well as leading educators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and television personalities. How events were taken place in schools with the involvement of students for the celebration.
I gave examples of some outstanding women in some of the countries largest tech. firms from HP to Yahoo, the first female chief of the World’s largest automaker, the first women to hold the position in the Federal Reserve, chairperson in U.S Central Bank, and also shared some history about how women have served in active Military duty in armed forces since 1914.
I also gave examples of some successful womenof our country like our first lady Minister, Her Excellency Aum Dorji Choden, Permanent Representative and Ambassador to New York, Aum Kunzang C Namgyel, Chairperson of ACC, Honorable Aum Neten Zangmo, and finally, our first lady Dzongda, Dasho Dzongda Ngawang Pem. The list is however, inexhaustible.
I informed the crowd that it is high time for the women in the communities to come forward and take part in all the Gewog activities like meetings, RNR trainings, cooperative groups, and most importantly, to participate in the elections of local leaders.
The session was wrapped up with the saying “if you educate a man you educate an individual. But if you educate a women you educate generation”.
Fig 1: Awareness training on “International Women’s Day” on 8 March 2014 in Municipal Hall, Tsirang.
RENEW and Domestic Violence
The session started off with the introduction and background of the institution and its mandates, and roles and responsibilities.
The floor was informed that roughly about 1.2 billion women (including girls) worldwide were victims of physical or sexual violence. Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by their close partners, and those women face the following risks;
Ø 16 % more likely to have a low- birth-weight baby.
Ø 2X more likely to suffer from depression.
Ø 1.5X more likely to have sexual transmitted diseases.
I expressed the importance of engaging men to empower women. Domestic violence is not an urban or rural based, a problem of the rich or the poor, it affects women from all walks of life.
Men are equally responsible for pregnancy and should be equally responsible for contraception. Men should help his wife in doing household works.
The participants were presented the national facts and figures as per the research conducted by RENEW in 2007 to give a stronger picture of the subject.
In conclusion, the floor was made aware of the presence of the “Domestic Violence Prevention Act of Bhutan 2013”.
Fig 2: Awareness on RENEW and Domestic Violence
Mediation and Its Advantages
I would like to thank her Highness Ashi Sonam Dechen Wangchuk, the president of Bhutan National Legal Institute for conducting this important training for local governance women leaders. Her Highness has graced the opening ceremonies of this educative, entertaining and memorable training on Mediation (Nakha Nandrig) or the amicable resolution of dispute in the communities.
A total of 69 participants from 9 dzongkhags were trained in Phuntsholing, RRCO, Hall in year 2013, participants of rest 11 Dzongkhags were trained in Paro.
We learned that Mediation is a peaceful and inexpensive alternative for resolution of disputes without the need to go to courts. A popular Bhutanese adage goes “Thrim ley Gyelw dhi yuel ley pham dha”meaning,“losing cases in the village is better than winning in the court”. Going to court for trials should be the last resort given time and expenses involved. Besides many of us do not realize the loss we incur in terms of sore relationship due to the divisive nature of the litigation. Litigation involves complicated formalities and arguments based on the rights and positions of the parties rather than their needs and interests. Courts impose decisions on the parties based on laws, whereas in mediation parties themselves tailor or customize solutions which suit them so that both the parties win. Where as in litigations, one party wins and the other party loses.
I also shared about some of the skills and techniques to be used during mediation of disputes including how to listen actively or attentively to identify the individual needs and interest of the parties to arrive at mutually acceptable solutions, leading to win-win situations.
At last I informed about how important it is to keep a good relationship not only within our family members but also with the neighbors.
Fig 3: Mediation and its awareness
‘So let us mediate, not litigate’. Submitted by: