Children (0-18 years included) account for 37.36[1] per cent of Bhutan’s total estimated population of 745,173. The monarchs of Bhutan have always emphasized the need to invest wisely on children as they are the future leaders. The Royal Government of Bhutan accords highest priority in improving the lives of its young population. Bhutan’s commitment to the rights and safety of its children was confirmed in 1990 when it ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, without reservations. Ten years before this, in 1981 Bhutan had ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), with its provisions regarding discrimination against the girl child.

With rapid modernization and urbanization, families in Bhutan are becoming more and more nu­clear, leaving children and youth even more vulnerable. The country is confronted with the challenges of fulfilling the basic rights of children youth and women as enshrined in the Constitution of the kingdom of Bhutan.

While women in Bhutan generally enjoy equal rights, they have yet to achieve full parity. The overall female labour force participation rate was 58.9 per cent, compared with 72.1 per cent for male.[2]

Nearly 70 per cent of the total unemployed are women, The Gross enrolment ratio (GER) for tertiary education in the country is estimated at 24 percent with gender parity index (GPI) of 0.78. (AES, 2014). Violence against women, and their acceptance of it, is still an issue that needs to be recognized and addressed. According to the Bhutan Multiple Indicator Survey (BMIS 2010), 68 per cent of women aged 15-49 reported that they believe a husband is justified in beating his wife/partner in various circumstances.

[1]NSB, Population Projection for Bhutan 2005-2030. Projections for 2014.

[2]Statistical Yearbook of Bhutan, 2014

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