DHARAMSHALA: The Women’s Empowerment Desk of the Department of Finance, Central Tibetan Administration, organised a general meeting today at Nyatri hall to mark Tibetan Women’s Day. The general meeting is organised to exchange ideas and solicit suggestions and recommendations on the implementation of the women’s empowerment policy formulated by the Central Tibetan Administration.
Before the discussions began, CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay addressed the staff and officials of the administration. In his address, he spoke about the CTA’s women empowerment policy and his deep support and commitment to gender equality and women’s rights.
“As a son of a mother, husband of a wife and father of a daughter, I am a deep believer in the equality and empowerment of women not just in the Tibetan community and but all over the world,” he began.
He spoke about the Kashag’s commitment to work towards creating a more egalitarian society based on equality of opportunities, and equitable payment of salaries and compensation.
“The CTA rules and regulations and the Tibetan charter provides for equal opportunity for Tibetan women to seek employment, and receive equal salaries to all staff irrespective of gender. Even for the post of Sikyong or Member of Parliament, both men and women have an equal opportunity to contest elections and stand for the highest post in the CTA,” he said.
“There is no administrative discrimination based on gender in the Tibetan administration,” he explained. However, Dr Sangay admitted that there is still a structural discrimination in the society in the perspective towards women in the Tibetan community.
“Despite the economic and educational advancements that the Tibetan community has made since the early days of exile, there is still a distinction in the attitude towards women in the community. For instance, a woman would be subject to more severe backlash for a similar mistake that a man could commit,” he said.
“Therefore, it is in these areas that we would focus more to create an egalitarian community not just on the paper but also in our attitude,” he said.
Dr Sangay explained the steps taken by the Tibetan administration to sensitise the public about women’s rights, special needs, and the important roles that they perform in the community by virtue of being mothers.
He further reiterated the Kashag’s zero tolerance policy against sexual and gender-based violence, particularly expressing his shock and disgust at the cases of molestation of minors that have taken place a few years back.
Dr Sangay urged the public to participate and cooperate with the Tibetan administration in making the women empowerment policy a success. He emphasized that, without the participation of the public, the policy would be ineffective despite the best of intentions.
Dr Sangay also explored some of the themes being discussed in global feminist circles particularly the divergent ideologies within the feminist movement such as ‘feminism’ at its core is about equality of men and women, not “sameness” etc. A short video on women empowerment was also released by the President at the gathering.
Secretary Trinley Gyatso of the finance department gave a brief overview of the activities undertaken by the women’s empowerment desk to sensitize the Tibetan public about women’s rights and empowerment through workshops, seminars, trainings, etc.
Following the address by President Dr Lobsang Sangay, a general meeting was held to discuss the implementation and amendments if any to the Tibetan women’s empowerment policy.