Bhutan observes International Women’s Day with Emphasis on ‘‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress



On 8 March, in a momentous celebration of International Women’s Day, Her Majesty The Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck graced the festivities at the Gyalpozhing College of Information and Technology (GCIT) in Kabisa, Thimphu.

The event, aligned with the theme of ‘‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress,’’ underscored the critical role of empowering women across various fields.

International Women’s Day stands as a poignant reminder of the ongoing struggle for gender equality and the imperative to create a more inclusive and equitable world. It serves as a platform to raise awareness about women’s rights, celebrate their achievements, and shed light on the persistent challenges they face.

Her Majesty The Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck, in her address to the gathering, emphasized the profound impact women have on our lives, stating that International Women’s Day serves as a powerful reminder of this influence.

She stressed our collective responsibility to honor this legacy by actively contributing to the creation of a future that genuinely reflects and celebrates women’s invaluable contributions.  

The chosen theme, ‘‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress,’’ places a spotlight on the importance of allocating resources, support, and opportunities to empower women comprehensively.

This investment, it is argued, has the potential to unlock the full capabilities of women and catalyze progress across social, economic, and political spheres.

Recognizing the vital link between economic empowerment and sustainable development, the emphasis lies on providing women with access to education, financial resources, and equal employment opportunities.

The belief is that when women are economically empowered, they can significantly contribute to economic growth, poverty reduction, and the overall well-being of their families and communities.

Her Majesty expressed her sentiment that the theme for this year’s IWD holds great significance and urgency as we gear up for the transformative initiative under the visionary of His Majesty the King.

The Executive Director of RENEW, Tshering Dolkar, proclaimed on International Women’s Day that Bhutan’s remarkable progress in women’s representation and leadership is reflected in its 103rd ranking out of 146 countries in the 2023 Global Gender Gap Index’’

Central to the agenda is the call to invest in girls’ education and skill development. By ensuring equal access to quality education and vocational training, advocates argue that women can be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue fulfilling careers, thus dismantling gender barriers that persist in various professions.

Another critical aspect of the investment in women is their health and well-being. Ensuring access to healthcare services, and reproductive rights, and implementing gender-sensitive healthcare policies are deemed essential for women’s physical and mental well-being.

Prioritizing women’s health, it is argued, can create a society where women can thrive and contribute fully to the community.

Advocates stress the necessity of investing in women’s political participation to achieve genuine gender equality and foster inclusive decision-making processes.

By actively promoting women’s representation in politics and leadership roles, the goal is to create a more balanced and diverse political landscape.

International Women’s Day is not confined to local celebrations; it resonates globally, providing an opportunity for nations to collaborate and share best practices in the pursuit of gender equality.

The united call for investing in women has gained momentum worldwide, with leaders, organizations, and individuals coming together to champion the cause.

The presence of Her Majesty The Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck at the celebration at GCIT has added a significant touch to the local observance of International Women’s Day.

Her attendance underscores the commitment of the royal family to advancing the status of women in the country, providing inspiration and impetus for continued efforts in this regard.

As International Women’s Day celebrations conclude, the resounding message of ‘‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’’ lingers.

The call for comprehensive investment in women’s education, economic empowerment, health, and political participation is not merely a slogan but a rallying cry for societies to realize the full potential of half their population.

It is a call to action that resonates beyond this day, urging sustained efforts to create a world where women are empowered, celebrated, and truly equal contributors to progress.

The function was attended by Prime Minister cabinet members, funding partners, and members from the women’s fraternity.

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