Bhutanese People

Bhutanese women constitute 49.5 percent of the country’s total population and play a major role in the development of the country. They are actively involved in all areas of economic, political and social life as farmers, entrepreneurs, decision-makers, doctors, engineers and homemakers. Bhutanese women do not face any institutionalized form of discrimination- politically, socially, economically or legally. Law treats women and men equally and many of its provisions protect the rights and interests of women and children.

There is equal participation of women and men permitted in decision-making, such as at community meetings, but at the grass roots level female involvement is as high as 70 percent. Participation of women in district and block development council is also being actively promoted and is increasing. Positions in the higher levels of government and decision-making, in which women are not yet adequately represented, are open to both genders and placement of women in the higher strata of government is being encouraged.

In the field of education the enrolment of girls in the primary level at 46 percent in 2000 is one of the highest in the SAARC region as well as in the developing countries. Maternal and child health too has been accorded high priority by the government. Effective service delivery and aggressive advocacy campaign in areas of safe motherhood, concept of small family, women empowerment, adolescent reproductive health and prevention of STD/HIV diseases have also attributed to the general improvement of health of women and children.