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Bhutan’s first woman Gup: paving the way for women leaders

May 30, 2012

Bhutan has now got its first woman Gup or block leader, a first since the nation went to polls in 2008. Gewogs are official administrative units in Bhutan, each headed by a Gup. For Namgay Peldon, it is one step towards breaking that glass ceiling.

When 28-year-old Namgay Peldon was elected as the Gup of Tashiding Gewog in Bhutan’s Dagana district, she made history by becoming the first woman block leader since the country first went to the polls in 2008.
 
Gewogs are official administrative units in Bhutan, each headed by a Gup. It hadn’t been easy, but her victory has inspired other Bhutanese women to venture out and participate in the political and administrative affairs of the state.
 
Recent research, supported by UN Women, shows that 57 per cent of Bhutanese women would like to join politics but are held back by their responsibilities as mothers and housewives.
 
Gup Namgay Peldon attributes her win to the overwhelming support she received from the people in her village. For over ten years, Gup Peldon worked as a non-formal education instructor, which helped her to establish a close rapport with the villagers. “As an instructor, I interacted very frequently with people. I was always in touch, and helped them to draft applications and letters. I also participated in community gatherings and meetings.  So when I expressed my interest to stand for elections, people were also very supportive of my idea,” she explains.
 
For the full story, click here.
Source : UN Women
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