This election season, we celebrate our ability to exercise our beliefs and vote for candidates of our choosing. The practice of participating in democratic elections is intuitive for us; the United States was founded upon the principles of democracy and we take pride in its ever-presence in our society. However, democracy does not come as easily to many other nations. Even when peaceful transitions to democracy occur, if a culture around democracy is not established, many places remain democracies in name only.
In 2008, Bhutan’s system of government transitioned to a democracy; yet most of Bhutan’s people remain unaware of both their rights and responsibilities as citizens. Without education and engagement to give voice to all, but particularly those who have not traditionally participated in the process of participatory governance, Bhutan will remain a democracy in name only.
The Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy strives to nurture a culture of democracy by strengthening media, expanding public discourse, and providing essential education to the citizens whose votes will directly impact the future of the nation. The center reaches typically disengaged segments of society, particularly youth, by involving them in advocacy campaigns and educational outreach. It also produces print, audio, and visual materials on the democratic process, and distributes them to the furthest reaches of the country. Additionally, it organizes forums that bring together all types of Bhutan citizens, ranging from rural teachers to government officials. By ensuring that even the quietest voices in society are heard, the center aims to create a collaborative community within Bhutan that upholds the practice of democracy.
Learn more about the incredible organization here.
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