A husband and wife in Dagana dzongkhag have been elected as gups of their gewogs in the recent local government elections on September 27.
Pema Wangmo Tamang and Passang Thingh Tamang were elected as a Gup of Gesarling gewog in Dagana and Tsholingkhar gewog in Tsirang.
They married in 2009 and have a five-year-old son. Both Pema Wangmo and Passang have taken inspiration from their fathers who served as gups in their respective gewogs.
Pema Wangmo Tamang, 30, who is the first female gup of Gesarling gewog and the second female gup in a country secured 366 votes to narrowly beat former Gup Mani Kumar Ghishing who got 344 votes. “I never could imagine myself where I am today if I didn’t stand against all odds,” Pema Wangmo Tamang. “Our current dzongda and my very good friend who served as a first female Gup has proven that women can handle what a man can and in fact better.”
She has previously worked as a Non Formal Education (NFE) instructor in Tashiding gewog for 12 years and has been helping her husband with his business. She was also a member of Bhutan Network for Empowering Women (BNEW) through which she participated in numerous workshops on empowering women. “Being part of BNEW taught me who I can be and in beating the old mindsets of people that women belongs to the four corners of the wall,” she said. “Although I don’t have any experience, I have learnt many things from my father and through interaction with all the people in gewog,” she said.
Her husband, Pema Thingh Tamang, graduated from St. Joseph College from Darjeeling with a Bachelors in Political Science. He contested as a national council candidate in 2011, but did not win. He then went into business. This time he contested for gup and won with 964 votes.
“It’s a dream come true that we both made it, we are now looking forward to bringing changes through sharing ideas,” Pema Thingh Tamang.
They both share a similar idea of bringing a change in Gewog level by making using of advances in technology.