Sonam Tshering, Thimphu
Nov 10 2016

Domestic violence on the rise

Domestic violence against women in the country is on the rise. From January to October, RENEW, a civil society organisation, received over 300 complaints.
National Commission for Women and Children has received 27 cases from January until now.
Last year, Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women (RENEW) had received close to 300 cases of domestic violence against women and National Commission for women and children (NCWC) 13.
The increase in the number, according to NCWC’s Legal Officer, Ugyen Tshomo, is the rise in the level of awareness.
She also said more women are coming forward to complain because they know domestic violence is wrong.
“The increase is due to people’s knowledge about the Domestic Violence Prevention Act and also on the differentiation of abuse and criminal aspect which the Act covers.”
According to a study carried out by the NCWC in 2012, the prevalence rate of violence against women was 29 percent of which most common was domestic violence.
The Legal Officer said they have plans and initiatives to address domestic violence at the national level.
“We are building capacities of the implementing agencies such as reinforcement agencies and service providers. We are also creating awareness on Domestic Violence Prevention Act and its rules and regulations. We are focusing more on community level.”
She said the NCWC is drafting the standard operating procedure for case management, referral system, and guidelines in accreditation of service provider.
Ugyen Tshomo added the commission is also planning to establish a central database management system to keep proper records of cases reported in the commission and other implementing agencies.

Agriculture ministry advocates for a change in the dietKipchu, Thimphu

Bhutan imports more than half of its total rice requirement from India. But this deficiency, Agriculture officials say, can be minimised if people choose maize as an alternate diet.
Today, most people associate maize as a poor man’s diet. Likewise, Agriculture officials say, people also lack knowledge on the nutritional value of maize.
They said compared to rice, maize is not only nutritious but has less sugar content.
They also said maize can be grown in all 20 dzongkhags of the country.
“To change the social habits is not so easy. It could be a long term goal. Nonetheless, if we can improve the quality of Kharang and also diversify products, we can achieve substantial progress in putting maize into food habits,” said National Maize Coordinator of agriculture ministry, Dorji Wangchuk.
To promote maize as an alternate diet, the agriculture ministry helps farmers by facilitating its marketing.
The ministry is also putting efforts in increasing the nutritional value of the crop through various methods before processing.
Records with the agriculture ministry show the country cultivates more maize than rice.
Last year, Bhutan produced 90,000 metric tons of maize against 83,000 metric tons of rice.

Amici del Bhutan - Italy