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AbstractThis thesis is a study about women's participation in Bhutan's new democracy and exposes the patriarchy embedded in Bhutanese society which is reinforced through cultural practices and the legal framework. It reveals the public/private dichotomy, the low educational attainment of girls and the gendered division of labour which derails women's public life. It discloses a masculine driven party politics and the challenges of being a woman in the world of men. Nonetheless, the first trailblazing women parliamentarians demonstrated a principled, feminine, political leadership in a masculine environment. Semi-structured interviews, document review and participant observation methods were used to collect data.