Bhutan 2019 Trips
Matrilineal traditions are longstanding in Bhutan, and as a result, Bhutanese women have a fairly empowered standing in society. However, Bhutan still has its share of gender disparity and challenges. With only a handful of elected women parliamentarians and women leaders in the civil service and private sector, Bhutan still has a long way to go to achieve gender equity. Dining for Women’s trips to Bhutan offered a holistic view of the cultural and traditional evolution of women’s roles at home and in public spaces. Travelers explored how these roles have changed due to modernization and democracy in relation to the country’s guiding philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH).
A key part of these trips was visiting multiple READ Global centers throughout the region and interacting and volunteering with the women we supported. READ Global was Dining for Women’s Featured Grantee in August 2017. It was the first grant awarded to an organization operating in Bhutan. DFW’s grant provided training in literacy, leadership, financial literacy, and livelihood skills such as weaving and beekeeping. It also helped women form savings cooperatives to start and upgrade their businesses.
Trip highlights included:
- Visiting multiple READ Bhutan Centers and volunteer with local women and children.
- Participating in a private symposium of women leaders in Bhutan.
- Enjoying local arts and crafts at the Textile Museum, local crafts market, and VAST Art Studio
- Learning to cook hoentey, a regional specialty.
- Hiking the incredible Taktsang Monastery, known as the Tiger’s Nest.