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Wed, Sep 06

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Interview in Class

Dr. Tashi Zangmo.

Executive Director of Bhutan Nuns Foundation. Bhutan

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Time & Location

Sep 06, 2023, 10:00 AM – 10:50 AM CDT

Interview in Class

About the event

Dr. Tashi Zangmo began her educational journey at the age of nine as the first girl from her remote eastern Bhutanese village to receive an education. She was the third youngest of eight children in her family and had to walk a day to reach the only school in Wamrong. Initially, she was the only girl who boarded there until sixth grade. Later, she continued her studies in Thimphu, Bhutan's capital, and worked as a government secretary before enrolling in the Centre for Higher Tibetan Studies in Varanasi, India.

In 1995, she earned her first B.A. degree in Buddhist Philosophy. When an opportunity arose to study in the United States, she continued her education at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, where she graduated with a second B.A. degree in Developmental Studies in 1999.

In her graduate studies for her M.A. and Ph.D., she focused on the status of women and nuns in Bhutan in relation to gender equity and internationally recognized development goals. Her 2009 doctoral thesis, titled "Women's Contribution to Gross National Happiness: A Critical Analysis of the Role of Nuns and Nunneries in Education and Sustainable Development in Bhutan," drew on feminist and critical discourses to examine the quality of learning at nunneries. The thesis proposed specific recommendations and programmatic actions to address the situation.

After returning to Bhutan and building upon her academic work, Dr. Zangmo founded the BNF charity under the patronage of the Queen Mother, Ashi Tshering Yangdoen Wangchuck. Today, ten years later, the foundation supports nunneries and educates female monastics, greatly contributing to the empowerment of women and the achievement of Bhutan's overall development goals.

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