Annually celebrated on 8 March, the International Women’s Day (IWD) the theme “Make it Happen.” Bhutan joins the global community this year to celebrate women’s achievements while calling on for greater gender equality in Wangdiphodrang. Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck will grace the occasion as the chief guest, joining students and the local community of Wangdiphodrang.
It is jointly organized by RENEW and the Dzongkhag Administration, with support from the National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) and United Nations System in Bhutan.
IWD is celebrated to recognize women’s achievements without regard for divisions based on nationality, ethnicity, language, cultural, economic or political. It is an occasion to look back at past struggles and accomplishments, but more importantly, to look ahead at untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.
This year’s theme ‘Make it Happen’ encourages effective action for advancing and recognizing the roles that women play in our society. Women are the drivers of peace in their homes, holding steadfast the fabrics of their communities, and some even going the extra distance in building peace at the global level.
Series of declarations and commitments have been made by global leaders – Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), International Conference for Population Development (ICPD) and Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action to Empower Women, over and above the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
In Bhutan, the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA) and the Child Care and Protection Act (CCPA) are two main legislations that have been enacted to ensure the provision of a comprehensive legal framework to protect and promote the rights of women and children in line with these international commitments.
Efforts are underway to implement these legislations and thus, the theme for 2015 “Make it Happen” is fitting in this context – to translate these legal provisions into effective action. For this to succeed, the support of every individual and solidarity in action is essential.
Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck in her keynote address during the opening ceremony of Asian and Pacific Conference on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment held in Bangkok stated – ‘We have journeyed long and far-we have made significant progress-yet there remains so much more to accomplish before we can declare victory. We must step up to the challenge, we must enhance efforts to realize all the goals of this global agenda for gender equality and change the lives for women and girls-for men and boys for the better’.
IWD celebrations will also take place nationally led by the Multi Sectoral Task Force (MSTF) and RENEW’s Community Based Support System (CBSS); and youth volunteers.