25 August 2010

“Ladies, go back home” Policy

Government drove off all Indian maids working in Bhutanese homes and now you can’t even keep Bhutanese helpers. What alternative did the government come up with? Well it none of their business. Following the house raid last year families across the nation are devastated, all they could do was to call their old parents to babysit for them. What about those without parent? Well, don’t give birth!
Despite substantial effort in bringing about gender equality, Bhutan couldn’t really remove its deep root from feminine discrimination. The ill feeling is at the heart of our beliefs, superstitions, religion and culture. We are all brought up with the belief that girls are nine lives below us, whatever it mean. It takes a man to perform or inaugurate an important ceremony. It will be considered bad if a woman walks over a man, or for that matter his gho or any other things that belong to man. If you know a Bhutanese fairy tale, tell me who is the gunda boss? Who else but a witch. There is no room in Bhutan where man can’t go in but many temples have certain chambers where females are forbidden. Symbol of male sex organ (phallus) is considered scared and is seen hanging from roofs and drawn on walls but not the female one. Even wise figure like Guru Rimpochee relates tobacco with female menstrual fluid. One Dzongkhag text we were taught in high school fully talks on how dirty a female body is. This is a short list I can remember to illustrate the depth of feminine prejudice in our society.
And with change in time things seem to have moved on but with the root deep down underneath how we could expect so much; Health people say a mother must breastfeed their baby for full six month while the maternity leave is just three months and no office will allow women employees to walk in the office with their babies. Now as women rub shoulders with men, our society can't resist it and therefore “ladies, go back home” policy is put in place- I mean if babysitters are illegal or made unaffordable it only means mothers leaving the jobs and going back home.
Just sit down with a cup of tea and look back on our beliefs and culture and ask yourselves who must have made them. If your mind is not frozen in some ancient times perhaps you would realize that all of these are brainchild of some powerful foolish men back in Dark Age.


  1. P:S: Forgot to mention that my wife is a fulltime mother and I personally have no effect from the policy. It is just too funny for the government to adopt rich countries' policies in a poor country.

  2. Thank you for your concern Its very encouraging to see your post not only this post but journal of an ordinary Bhutanese is for me is a must read journal now. Good luck

    1. Keep reading, I am inspired each time I get such comments.


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