To mark International Women’s Day 2022, Trans Bhutan Trail is launching an exclusive Women’s Adventure Tour, led by female Bhutanese guides.

Alongside an opportunity to explore the Trans Bhutan Trail – which will be reopening for the first time in over 60 years in spring 2022 – the new 12-day tour will offer an insight into Bhutan’s fascinating matriarchal society, meeting some of the country’s most inspiring female entrepreneurs and exploring creative industries run by Bhutanese women.

Following years of extensive restoration, the 250-mile historic pilgrimage trail traversing Bhutan will welcome walkers and mountain bikers for the first time in over half a century. On this new tour, travellers will see how women’s roles have developed in relation to the country’s guiding philosophy of Gross National Happiness.

Bhutan’s matriarchal society means that by law, Bhutanese women are considered equal to men; they do not have to contend with any overt discrimination on the basis of gender and hold an empowered standing in society.

Women play a vital role in the rural and urban economy, working together alongside men in the field as well as holding managerial positions in the public and private sectors. Men take a fully shared role in household management, and name inheritance is matrilineal; within marriage, women do not take their husband’s name, nor daughters their father’s name at birth. Married women often generate as much income as their husbands in addition to being housewives, with many being the breadwinner for their family.

“As a trail runner, I am excited to have the opportunity to one day run the whole trail from west to east, and influence more Bhutanese women to take an interest in trail running, as well as encouraging female tourists to experience and learn about our unique society.” 

– Tashi Chozom – Bhutanese Trail Guide

Offering an appreciation of the traditionally female-led areas of expertise in Bhutan, guests will develop an understanding of Bhutanese crafts, including watching the intricate handiwork of the famous Yatra weavers, discovering local yak hair products, and a traditional Bhutanese textile dyeing workshop given by a specialist who uses natural and organic dyes and has created textiles for His Majesty, the King of Bhutan.

There will be a visit to the Tsumalaphy Nunnery and the Pema Choling Nunnery to meet some of the women and girls living there and learn about Nyingma Peling Buddhist traditions, as well as a stop at the Bhutanese Association of Women Entrepreneurs, an NGO with a mission to promote sustainable and equal opportunities for female entrepreneurs across Bhutan.

Are you ready to discovery extraordinary in Bhutan?
Explore Bhutan in the company of female trailblazers on our new journey. Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims, traders and royal messengers by walking two sections of the newly restored Trans Bhutan Trail. From Haa in the west to Trashigang in the east, the trail spans the breadth of Bhutan covering over 400 kilometres of spectacular terrain.

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Author: Steppes Travel