International Women’s Day 2020


Press Release:  International Women's Day 2020

Thimphu, March 8, 2020: International Women’s Day is commemorated every year on March 8 to mark the important contribution of women in the social, political and economic development, and to celebrate the achievements made towards improving the lives of women and girls around the world.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is "I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights". This theme is aligned with UN Women's new multi-generational campaign, "Generation Equality," which demands equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end to sexual harassment and all forms of violence against women and girls, health-care services that respond to their needs, and their equal participation in political life and decision-making in all areas of life. This campaign sets the stage for global public conversation for urgent action and accountability for gender equality, and celebrating the power of women’s rights activism and youth leadership in achieving transformative change.

This year, women’s rights and gender equality take center stage, as it marks twenty-five years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA). Adopted in 1995 in Beijing China, the BPfA is a comprehensive global policy framework and blueprint for gender equality actions. The twelve critical areas of concern outlined in the BPfA are still relevant today and the Platform for Action continues to guide gender equality interventions around the world.  2020 is especially pivotal for realizing the objective of gender equality and women’s empowerment as the global community takes stock of the progress made for advancing women’s rights since the adoption of the BPfA.

As Bhutan joins the global community in celebrating International Women's Day, we take this opportunity to reflect on the progress made and challenges encountered in implementing the BPfA. Bhutan conducted the National Review of BPfA in 2019, which was spearheaded by the National Commission for Women and Children and also participated in the regional review of the BPfA organised by the UNESCAP and UN Women in November 2019.

Bhutan has made significant progress in areas of girls participation in education and training, access to health services including specific services like maternal and reproductive health, women's access to credit and financial services, and women's participation in decision making. Furthermore, there are concerted efforts made by the government to improve the legal and policy environment for upholding the rights of women and girls, including the improvement of protection mechanisms for women and children in difficult circumstances.

However, gaps remain in terms of translating the enabling legal and policy environment to action on the ground. Lack of awareness on issues related to women and girls, limited capacity of duty bearers on gender issues, lack of services in rural areas, existence of gender stereotypes and prejudices regarding gender norms and power relations continue to remain some of the key factors constraining the full implementation of the actions underlined in the BPfA.

To mark the day, the NCWC would like to launch the following documents and a short video clip on Gender and Climate change through the NCWC website

Gender and Climate Change in Bhutan: Gender and Climate Change Bhutan

National Gender Equality Policy: National Gender Equality Policy

 SOP for Gender Based Violence:  Gender Based Violence

  1. National Gender Equality Policy: The Policy serves as a guiding framework which echoes and reaffirms the commitment of the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) to ensure the achievement of substantive equality through gender responsive policies, plans and programmes The Policy explores gender equality through the lens of three domains- political, social and economic and seeks to address the gender gaps under these domains. The policy was approved by the Cabinet on 23rd January 2020.
  2. Standard Operating Procedure for Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response: The SOP was developed by the NCWC with support from UNDP and UNICEF. The SOP is aimed at providing clear and comprehensive guidance for the multi-sector response to and prevention and mitigation of GBV. It sets standards for these actions and related services in line with international best practice. The SOP brings together existing international and national GBV-related legislation, policies and procedures to provide a functional guide for stakeholders on their roles and responsibilities.   The SOP is particularly developed to be used by all relevant government and non-government stakeholders including GBV case workers, specialised GBV service providers, agencies and individuals responsible for the governance of GBV multisectoral services, frontline responders and actors involved in GBV prevention and mitigation interventions.
  3. Gender and Climate Change in Bhutan: with emphasis on Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) priority sectors of Agriculture, Waste and Energy- The gender assessment in the three NDC priority sectors; Agriculture, Waste and Energy was conducted by the NCWC in partnership with the National Environment Commission (NEC) and with support from the UNDP to assess the gender dimension of climate in these three sectors. The study identifies the gender differentiated impacts of climate change and its intervention in the three sectors and the contribution of women and men to climate actions. The study recommends interventions for gender responsive climate actions with sector specific recommendations in gender responsive mitigation and adaptation climate actions. The launch of the report will be accompanied by a short video clip message of Lyonpo Tandin Dorji, Minister for Foreign Affairs who is the Chair for the National Commission for Women and Children.


        Happy International Women’s Day!


        Tashi Delek!


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