Respect Educate Nurture Empower Women (RENEW) - Bhutan

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Established in 2004 by Her Majesty the Queen of Bhutan, Respect, Educate, Nurture, Empower Women (RENEW) became an Associate Member Association of IPPF in November 2009. It aims to be the leading organization in shaping the future role of women in Bhutanese Society, helping to reduce vulnerabilities while nurturing and empowering them. Their work is focused on reaching poor, disadvantaged and adolescent girls and women.

RENEW has a widespread community-based support (CBS) system (established in 20 districts), and a community outreach programme run from the RENEW centre. Work focuses on sensitization with regard to HIV and AIDS, education in family planning approaches and contraceptive methods, and enhancing the safety of pregnancy and childbirth.

A clear problem in Bhutan is the unequal position of women. One of the expressions of gender inequality is high levels of gender-based violence (GBV) which is seen as a natural part of married life, and not as an issue. RENEW has a vigorous education programme designed to reverse such attitudes.

Bhutan is a unique country: all development is based on promoting Gross National Happiness (GNH), and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, acceptance of every individual’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and the practical realization of those rights are regarded as critical components in increasing GNH. Given this political context, RENEW has ambitious targets. Although it has only been established for 10 years, it is making remarkable strides towards the achievement of better SRH and SRHR outcomes for the nation and its people.