Aunt and niece compete for the same Tshogpa post

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Yenten Thinley
from Trongsa

An aunt and her niece will face off on Tuesday’s local government election.
A mother of three, Pemba from Gormala Thang village in Samchoeling Gewog in Trongsa and her niece, Sonam Tshomo, a Vocational Training Institute graduate, are running for the post of tshogpa in Drakteng Gewog in Trongsa.
“As a female tshogpa, I will represent the interest of women in my geowg,” says Pemba. “Women would also be able to approach me if they have any problem including issues of domestic violence.”
Pemba was inspired to contest for the post of tshogpa because there were not many women running for the election. “I am contesting in the election because I want to be an example to other women so that there will be more women participating in the election in future,” adds Pemba.
If elected, she pledges to work with great commitment and transparency.
Sonam Tshomo, 25, studied till class VI. She completed her studies from a vocational training institute a year back. She returned to her village after the training. She says even if women are interested to contest, they lack courage and confidence. “I hope to encourage other women,” she says.
If elected she pledges to give her best and work for the benefit of the people. “I don’t see many problems in our gewog as it is quite developed. However, I will try my best to further develop the gewog,” she adds.
The aunt and the niece do not seem to have any conflicts as such. “We are relatives. I appreciate that my niece is contesting for the same post. We are setting good example for other women,” says Pemba.
“It doesn’t matter who wins because at the end at least one of the women would still be winning,” says Sonam Tshomo.