Unlike the monasteries for men and boys that are beneficiaries of state or private support, nunneries in Bhutan receive no government funding. Private and community support is also extremely limited, leaving the girls and women in many nunneries vulnerable and neglected. Thus, their potential to serve society and contribute to its collective happiness is not being realized.
Overall, few of Bhutan’s nunneries provide a completely proper learning environment. There is great potential and a passion for nuns to receive good educations at nunneries. However, many lack standardized curriculum or evaluation systems. Above all, most do not have qualified teachers, who are committed and have the capability to provide a proper education, either for spiritual enrichment or for a productive lay life for those who decide to leave the nunneries.
Improving nuns’ living conditions and education will greatly assist in Bhutan’s drive to achieve “Education For All” within the framework of Gross National Happiness (GNH). A significant number of young women throughout Bhutan become nuns at some stage of life. As a result, it is critical they receive proper attention.
Nuns also play a crucial role in preserving Bhutan’s traditions and culture, essential to achieving GNH. This is a philosophy all about balancing material wants with spiritual needs. A woman who has spent some part of her life pursuing spirituality appears likely to live her own life in moderation and contribute to the happiness of others in a world where consumer ethics prevail.
Throughout the country, nuns serve as role models for grassroots women. This is especially significant now, as outside influences severely impact traditional values. Helping nuns benefits all women, girls and youth throughout Bhutan, especially in rural areas.
List of 28 Nunneries in Bhutan
Western Region: Paro/Punakha/Thimphu/Wangduephodrang