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Posted at: Feb 24, 2017, 12:14 AM; last updated: Feb 24, 2017, 12:14 AM (IST)

Meet to promote leadership qualities of Tibetan women

Meet to promote leadership qualities of Tibetan women
His Holiness The Dalai Lama speaks to participants of the Tibetan Women’s Empowerment Conference in McLeodganj on Thursday. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, February 23

A three-day Tibetan women empowerment conference concluded today at Gangchen Kyishong. It was the first time that such a conference has been organised under the aegis of the Central Tibetan Administration.

As many as 340 participants, including Tibetan nuns, women and men, from the Tibetan society in exile participated in the conference. The participants also met the Dalai Lama today.

Sikyong Lobsang Sangay while addressing the conference said the organisation of the conference was a step in the right direction to carry forward the shared vision of the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration to promote leadership and compassionate qualities of women in social and political development of the Tibetan community.

He lauded Tibetan women’s crucial role in safeguarding Tibet’s unique and rich religious, linguistic and cultural traditions beginning from the non-violent Tibetan women’s uprising against the repressive policies of the Chinese government on 12 March 1959.

Highlighting the consistent increase in representation of women in Tibetan administrative bodies, Sikyong said the vision of the conference was aimed beyond gender equality and on furthering women’s role in all socio-economic and political activities.

Sikyong further said Charter for Tibetans in exile and CTA rules and regulations provide equal opportunity for men and women. Women parliamentarians were elected as early as 1964 when even some advanced economies still did not have women parliamentarians. In fact, today women constitute over 20 per cent of the elected representatives in the Tibetan parliament. Women now make up 45 per cent of the overall workforce of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). Forty-eight and 60 per cent of the staff of education and health departments, respectively, were women. Over half of all new and incoming CTA staff was women, he said.

As part of its commitment on women empowerment, the Tibetan political leader also announced that 12 March on every year would formally be observed as ‘Women’s Day’. The observance of Tibetan Women’s Day on 12 March will reflect the collective will of the Tibetan leadership and people to accelerate women empowerment policy agenda.

The representatives of the Tibetan government in exile said the revised seven-point women empowerment policy was drafted by a committee composed almost entirely of senior women officials of the CTA and was adopted by the Kashag following due consultations and comprehensive deliberations with women from all walks of life.

The revised women empowerment policy outlines seven key points in its stated objective of making Tibetan women equal partners in all aspects of Tibetan society. The points include women and human rights, education, health, economy, governance and leadership, social, and sexual and gender-based violence. On sexual and gender-based violence, the Kashag has promised to adopt a zero tolerance policy. It further promised to sensitise community members on SGBV and establish a redressal mechanism for those who have experienced gender-based harassment and discrimination.

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