The parliamentary victory connected women’s issues and closed the gender gap in policymaking



The victory in the Kengkhar-Weringla and Ugyentse-Yoseltse constituencies in the country’s Fourth National Assembly (NA) elections isn’t just a personal triumph; it’s a powerful signal that women’s voices are being heard. The newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) Dorji Wangmo’s journey from General Manager to MP demonstrates the critical link between effective representation and addressing the concerns of women, highlighting the need for a more diverse perspective in policy making.

The perception that politics is solely a male domain is intensifying as just two out of six female candidates for the NA won the general elections on January 9, 2024. Dorji Wangmo, the newly elected NA candidate for the Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP), said that she strongly felt the need for more women’s participation so that a country could have adequate women’s representation in the Parliament.

She also hopes to inspire young women to come forward and lead by example. So, it can be possible to show that women are also equally capable and that women can do it!

In the words of Dorji Wangmo, there may be a misconception that only men belong to politics. Though she disagreed, she thinks that there is still a perception in society that politics is a field best left to men. If such a perception is held, it is imperative that all women, particularly those with higher education, emphasize the need for sufficient representation of women in the legislature and other leadership roles.

To maintain balance when making decisions or formulating public policy and to guarantee that issues about women are sufficiently taken care of, “When it comes to leadership, women may be just as effective as men,” she emphasized.

To solve the problem of women not endorsing other women candidates, Dorji Wangmo thinks that programs, including those already being carried out by groups like the National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) and Bhutan Network for Empowering Women (BNEW), are essential.

“These groups have been instrumental in launching campaigns that emphasize the value of female representation in politics and inspire women to actively support one another in their political aspirations.”

However, she wasn’t pleased with the outcome. “We women need to understand this and take it upon ourselves to make sure that we offer more choices to the people and are adequately represented,” she said. Considering that women make up 50 percent of the population of our nation, having just two female members out of 47 is excessive.

According to Dorji Wangmo, most people’s misconceptions of high danger and heavy duty are basically for men. As a result, women will naturally feel bad about their employment and be reluctant to participate in and lead the role. She did, however, stress and provide an example of how a man will only pay passing attention to general issues. Where the girls’ problems are entirely disregarded. She remarked, “A woman can see every issue.”

She passionately emphasized that a lot of women in the nation feel as though their goals and aspirations are stifled by societal expectations and fears. The thing that prevents women from reaching their full potential is not a lack of aptitude, but rather the weight of deeply embedded preconceptions and limitations.

Her triumph is not just about statistics; it’s about shattering stereotypes and igniting hope in the hearts of young women across the country. It becomes a guideline for a generation of young women who dream and dare to work.

She said the presence in Parliament is not merely symbolic; it is a catalyst for change. As an MP, she can champion legislation that directly addresses the specific needs of women.

Dorji Wangmo pledges to transcend constituency boundaries and serve as a voice for all women across the country. “Just as I did in Kengkhar-Weringla,” she declared, “I will dedicate myself to representing every woman in our nation, amplifying their concerns, and inspiring future generations to step into leadership roles.”

Recognizing the current scarcity of female voices in Bhutan’s parliament, Dorji Wangmo vows to bridge the gap through sheer effort. “While the numbers may be low,” she stated, “My commitment is unwavering. I will work tirelessly to ensure that women’s issues are heard and addressed at the highest levels, leaving no voice behind.”

While her career undoubtedly brought financial success, she felt a deeper fulfillment in serving the wider community and contributing to national development. “Entering politics provides a platform to influence policy, address societal issues, and potentially create a larger impact than her corporate role allows,” she emphasized.

This larger initiative has the potential to dismantle current obstacles and help the country achieve a more inclusive of women in the political environment.  

Meanwhile, another elected MP, Dimple Thapa said that she would not be able to respond until the election petition period is over.

Related Posts

About The Author