Dechen Tshomo

“I am the new mangmi here in Lingzhi, after serving as tshogpa for the past 5 years. I’ve spent most of my life here, except for the 8 years I went to school in Thinleygang. Even though I studied only till class 10, being educated has helped me. When we started Non-Formal Education here in 2012, I worked as an instructor for 3 years. I was also previously supported by the villagers to run for tshogpa because I was educated. And now, I am in this position for the same reason.

I am married, but we don’t have kids yet. My husband fully supports me in running for a leadership position in the local government. He has taken a back seat for now and handles our household. We think I should do my work and serve before we decide to have children.
I wish to be a bridge between the people and the government. I understand that, as citizens, we can be quick to complain, but it is only when we are responsible for bringing changes that we realise how difficult it can be. However, in this new role as the person who officiates for the gup when needed, I plan to serve both the people and the government well. I am excited.
People often see a woman leader as incapable of doing the same work as a man. But I don’t believe that. It is only a question of whether we do it or not. The government has shown so much faith in us and has given us many opportunities. We must take these when we can.
The training opportunities from CSOs such as BNEW help women like me build confidence and gain new skills.

During my term, I wish to be someone people can rely on. In the future, if I plan to run for this or another position again, I want people to be able to vouch for me. Representation matters, and when there is a woman leader, the women in meetings can share their problems better. And since we have mostly women in these meetings, it is essential.
Many of our village’s young women are in schools now and a part of me taking on this position is so that they have someone to look up to. I hope that after me, another female will take on these roles and carry this message forward; we are equals and must not hold back.”

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