As I type these lines, I am watching a Bhutanese singing show: Drinchen Amai Sungkoed, the voice of Bhutanese mothers. Unlike the earlier Bhutanese reality shows, the current show engages Bhutanese women and is specifically aimed at developing their voice and personality.
In Bhutan, the concept of women empowerment is fairly new and we have always maintained that we have no gender bias in the country and that both men and women enjoy similar support and opportunity. But today we also spend so much effort and resources to organize conferences that talk about women empowerment.
Drinchen Amai Sungkoedis an appropriate platform for our women, who otherwise end up managing a household. And the program is expected to groom these womenwhile they also demonstrate their talents to the nation. We need to think of it as an opportunity for our mothers to boost their confidence and learn public speaking. This is expected to bring our women national recognition and create more confident leaders.
I am all praises for the organizers. We have to recognize their efforts because such programs will definitely bear fruits in the longer run. It is heartening to see more sponsors supporting such programs, but going by the number of commercial ads that we see, this show has not received as much support, unlike the other past shows.
The ultimate goal of this nation is to create a large pool of women, who can participate in various levels of the political arena. Today we have minimal women representation in the Parliament and local governments. This is a serious concern. And many organizations want to change this scenario.
But I think it is small and simple things like this reality show that will empower our women. It is a singing contest. But more than anything, it is breeding leaders and putting big confidence in them all.
Opinion by Nawang P. Phuntsho
The writer works in an NGO and lives in Thimphu