Safety of our girls

In Punakha, a minor girl student who was highly traumatized ran away from her step father accusing him of rape, after the death of her mother, and sought shelter in her school.

The school has given her shelter as a boarder and has reported the case to the police.

While it is already proven that the underage girl is no longer a virgin, and she has given a statement against her step father for rape, the police even after a month has not made enough progress to charge sheet the case to court.

The step father is, in fact, out on bail and if not for the actions of the school, the girl would be in even deeper trouble. It is hoped that the RBP can do a thorough and professional job here.

Meanwhile, in our pre-eminent Sherubtse College ten girls came together to file a harassment complaint to the college against a lecturer.

The assistant lecturer was asking some of the girls to go on rides with him and engaged in unprofessional conduct to the point that one of the girls had suicidal thoughts while another had panic attacks. Others were also impacted in different ways.

While the Sherubtse case is not as dire or legally as serious as the Punakha one, it brings out the abuse of authority, power and trust by the lecturer against the students.

A lecturer has a lot of power over students as he or she can decide their academic future and even their future career. Using that power to engage in unprofessional conduct like repeatedly asking for late night rides is unacceptable.

The girls took the brave decision to come forward with evidences as they did not want future students to go through the same thing, but the action of the college in only denying him promotion for three years is unacceptable.

Sherubtse produces future leaders and professionals for Bhutan, and if the college itself is not accountable then what will become of the future of Bhutan.

The recent spate of sexual assault and harassment cases coming from all over Bhutan show that a lot more needs to be done. A good start would be with the relevant authorities taking them seriously when the matter comes to them.

“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”
  Audre Lorde

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