Three women vie for Gup’s office in Trashigang

Meanwhile, over 22 women participated in the last LG elections in Trashigang

Three women, all incumbent mangmis, from Trashigang are going to run for the position of Gup from their respective gewogs in the upcoming Local Government Elections.

Dendup Dema, Pema Yangki and Pema Yangden have been serving as mangmis in Shongphu, Bidung and Udzorong gewogs for the past five years and they all believe it’s high time they expand the scope of their service by running for the top job in the gewog.

Initially during the leadership capacity building program held in Trashigang, only Dendup Dema declared her intent to run for the gup’s office, however, the other two followed suit.

Dendup Dema, 38, is a lone female candidate from Changmey village in Shongphu and she will be contesting against three aspiring male candidates; two of whom have actually held the office in the past.

As a mangmi for five years, she has worked closely with the people of her gewog and feels her contribution would be effective if she served in a more prominent capacity of a gup.

“I am delighted with my current post but as a mangmi we do not have much say on bringing developmental activities in the community,” she said, adding with the experience she gained in the last five years, she is ready to take on the position of the gup.

As a lone woman candidate, she believes she is representing other women in her gewog, and wishes to encourage them to partake in future LG elections.

“When it comes to defending our rights, we women hesitate a lot,” she said, “But as a woman leader, I will stand up for their rights, let them open up and help them fight.”

If elected, she will uplift the overall condition of women in her gewog and empower them to contribute in nation building.

“I will ensure women in my gewog live with dignity, besides engaging them gainfully,” she added.

According to the Dzongkhag Election Officer, Tenzin, 13 women participated in the functional literacy test this year. However, the actual number of women participating in the LG elections will be known only after the gewog officials and individuals submit the forms and register personally with the election office.

Meanwhile, over 22 women participated in the last LG elections in Trashigang, of which 11 were elected as mangmis and tshogpas.

“Only one woman contested for the post of gup from Khaling gewog in 2016 but she lost the election,” he said, “So far not a single woman has been elected to the gup’s office from Trashigang.”

The Bhutan Network of Empowering Women, in collaboration with the National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC), conducted a three-day leadership capacity building program in Trashigang where 29 women participated, of whom 16 will contest for the post of tshogpa, four for mangmi, and three for gup.

The program mainly focused on training women on public speaking and delivering campaign speeches, besides equipping them with other skills like content development and body gestures, all imperative during the election campaigns.

Tenzin Lhamo from Trashigang