In Bhutan

Documentary – Yes Madam Prime Minister

The Board of DIPD has approved an application from KCD Productions in Bhutan for a series of media activities to inspire and support the political aspirations of the women of Bhutan. A key feature is the documentary ‘La, Aum Lyonchhen’ ( ‘Yes Madam Prime Minister)’.

The small kingdom of Bhutan has undergone monumental changes the last five decades, not least with the introduction of parliamentary democracy in 2008. A key element in any democratization is nevertheless a challenge for the young democracy: the political representation of women. In Bhutan, less than 14% of women are represented in Parliament, and with the first ever local government elections held in June, 2011, less than 5% of the newly elected local leaders were women.

With the 2013 parliamentary elections around the corner, 2012 is a critical year filled with hope and possibility to encourage greater female participation and see more capable women candidates come forward.

Watch the full version of Yes, Madam Prime Minister.

About the Project

Through a series of media activities produced by KCD productions the intention is to:

  • Encourage and create a more conducive environment for women candidates who plan to run in the National     Parliamentary elections in 2013.
  • Educate and counter the traditional views of both men and women that women primarily belong in caregiver roles in the household.
  • Help inspire and support women candidates, and influence public opinion that women leaders can help make a positive difference.

Yes Madam Prime Minister!

The documentary ‘La, Aum Lyonchen’  (‘Yes Madam Prime Minister’) is a key element of the project. Featuring female politicians from Denmark– which is like Bhutan both a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy – the film seeks to inspire and support the political aspirations of the women of Bhutan.

In Denmark, a lot of progress has been made since women were granted the right to vote in 1915. Today close to 40 percent of members of Parliament are women, and in 2011 Denmark elected its first female Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

Through a “show, don’t tell” approach the documentary aims to inspire the Bhutanese women and challenge the view of women as unsuited for political leadership.

As part of the documentary, Hon.Sangay Zam from the National Council visited Denmark in April 2012. Her she met with a range of prominent female politicians and key actors for women’s political representation in Denmark: Minister for Health, Astrid Krag; Minister for Trade and Investment, Pia Olsen Dyhr; Former Member of Parliament, Minister and Member of the European Parliament, Lone Dybkjær; Member of Parliament and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lene Espersen; Member of Parliament and Former Minister of Defence, Gitte Lillelund Bech; Mayor of Roskilde, Joy Mogensen; Director of the Danish women’s rights organisation, Kvinfo, Elisabeth Møller Jensen; women’s rights expert, Drude Dahlerup; and Minister for Gender Equality, Manu Sareen.

The project will also include a Radio Drama Series, TV Spots and Online Forum, all focused on challenging traditional gender roles and encourage the women of Bhutan to get involved in politics.

KCD Productions

KCD productions, founded by former BBS television Anchor and Producer Kesang Chuki Dorjee, is well-experienced within this field. Previously productions include:,

  • “Nangi Aums to Go-thrips” or “ Housewives to Leaders” (2011) along with Four regional workshops and creating a website forum [UN Women/UNDP/Ministry of Education]
  • “Bhutan’s Invisible Workforce” (2010) National Commission for Women & Children
  • “Changing Lives” (2010) Youth Development Fund
  • “Early Childhood Care & Development” (2009) UNICEF & Ministry of Education
  • “Bhutan and the World Trade Organization” (2009) European Commission & Ministry of Economic Affairs
  • “A Young Democracy” (2008) Japan Prize, Hoso Bunka Foundation
  • “World Population Day” (2008) UNFPA
  • “Voices” (2008) RENEW Secretariat, CZECH Republic Embassy, New Delhi
  • Clean up Bhutan Campaign (2007) Produced Twenty Radio Spots
  • “Understanding Democracy” (2007) UNDP

More Information

DIPD in Bhutan


Project Coordinator Bo Karlsen