(TibetanReview.net, Feb23, 2017) – More than 340 people attended a Tibetan women’s empowerment conference inaugurated at Dharamshala, India, on Feb 21, the first time such an event was organized by the Central Tibetan Administration. The three-day ‘Tibetan Women’s Empowerment Conference’ was inaugurated by the executive head of the exile Tibetan administration, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay. He also declared that Mar 12 will henceforth be observed as “(Tibetan) Women’s Day”, said the exile administration on its Tibet.net website Feb 21.
The day is currently marked unofficially as Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day.
The Sikyong has said that declaring the day as Tibetan Women’s Day was meant to accelerate the exile administration’s Women’s Empowerment Policy agenda. He was quoted as saying, “with the implementation of affirmative action through various upcoming initiatives, the departments of CTA will continue to prioritise Tibetan women’s empowerment initiatives as its flagship agenda.”
He has said: “Women constitute over 20% of the elected representatives in the Tibetan parliament. Women now make up forty-five percent of the overall workforce of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). Forty-eight and sixty percent of the staff of Education and Health departments respectively are women. Over half of all new and incoming CTA staff are women.”
Kalon Sonam Topgyal Khorlatsang, the exile administration’s Home minister, was quoted as saying the aim of the conference was to “rake in intellectual and public discourse on the understanding of the (exile administration’s) revised (seven-point) ‘Women’s Empowerment Policy’ and to garner recommendations on the effective implementation of the clauses of the policy.”
The objective of the policy, drafted by senior women officials of the exile administration, was stated to be to make Tibetan women equal partners in all aspects of Tibetan society, including in the areas of human rights, Education, Health, Economy, Governance and Leadership, Social, and Sexual and Gender-based Violence.