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Title: The Changing Status of Women in Modern Bhutan with Relation to Education (From 1914 to 2003 A.D.)
Other Titles: Karatoya, NBU J. Hist. Vol 9, March 2016, p 104 - 114
Authors: Paul, Ratna
Keywords: Women
Literacy rate
Issue Date: Mar-2016
Publisher: University of North Bengal
Abstract: Till the middle of the last century Bhutan was isolated from the outside world and its social system was feudal. Historically, women were supposed to enjoy the same legal status as men, but after looking at the records and the practical aspects of women's lives we find that is not so true and practically their role was only of a home maker. The advancement and emancipation of women is virtually a recent phenomenon. Before the advent of modern education in the 1960s, the only form of education prevalent was traditional monastic education where Jew women got opportunity to educate themselves. Although the seed of modern school system to impart secular education was sown in 1914, women's entry in the formal education came about only after many years. We must, of course acknowledge that Bhutan was passing through a phase where parents preferred to send their sons to school rather than daughters not only because of harsh terrains, long distances, lack of accommodations or other general hardships but also because of the view that daughters were more vulnerable and more useful at home. In the 1960s with the Royal Government's intention to modernize the country, Five Year Plans were implemented and as a part of these plans, literacy rate was sought to be increased, and women found the doors of schools unlocked to educate themselves. Gradually the number of schools increased, so also the number of girl students. In the 1990s the government established hostel facilities for girls in the technical and vocational institutions. Nonformal system was introduced which was much more suitable for women. So, in spite of some age old gender disparity, women gradually became educated ushering increased awareness and thereby bolstering their status in the socio-economic-political fabric of Bhutanese society.
ISSN: 2229-4880
Appears in Collections:Karatoya Vol. 9 (March 2016)

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