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.
USPs of RENEW:
Pioneering: First and only Civil Society Organisation to work in women and child rights, gender equality and promotion of Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), with special focus on domestic violence (DV) and Sexual & Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
Holistic Approach: Specialized Counselling services, Shelter services, Special focus on women’s livelihood skills &financial empowerment, SGBV reduction and legal aid as a pathway to reduced harm complement traditional SRHR programming approaches.
Working at Scale: Deep governmental linkages because of royal patronage, which enables the institutionalisation of RENEW’s mission within the government to a large extent.
Youth & Community-led: Employs structures like a trained nation-wide community-led and youth volunteer network - Community Based Support System (CBSS); and the Druk Adolescent Initiative for Sexual Awareness Network (DAISAN). These networks aid the advocacy programs and SRHR work in communities, schools, and other institutions throughout the country.
Agile: Demonstrated resilience as an organisation in an environment that is challenging for CSOs which is a promise for sustainability.