By Tenzin Dharpo
The 2016 presidential hopeful called out Chinese president Xi Jinping over his hypocritical stance on women/CNN Photo
DHARAMSHALA, September 28: The Chinese President Xi Jinping’s statement yesterday at the Beijing +20 Conference, a UN Women initiative on gender equality and women empowerment has come under criticism from observers and politicians, more vocally from Senator Hillary Clinton, who termed Xi’s initiative as “shameless”.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, on his first state visit to the United States, co-chaired the Beijing +20 Conference, organized by UN Women which is a UN entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women yesterday.
Speaking at the meeting which marks the 20th anniversary of the historic ‘Fourth World Conference on Women’, held in Beijing in 1995, Xi said, "As the Chinese people pursue a happy life, every Chinese woman has the opportunities to excel in life and make their dream come true. China will do more to enhance gender equality as its basic state policy, give play to women's important role as 'half the sky' and support them in realizing their own dreams and aspiration in both career and life.”
US Senator, Hillary Clinton who is also running for the Presidential office, criticized the initiative without the typical diplomatic jargon. She tweeted, - Xi hosting a meeting on women's rights at the UN while persecuting feminists? Shameless #FreeThe20.
The Democratic Party presidential candidate has been vocal about the arrests of five women activists working against sexual harassment in Beijing last March who although released, continue to face state scrutiny. The plight of 20 female political prisoners is being taken up by the FreeThe20 campaign that has demanded of their immediate release.
Speaking to Phayul, Dhadon Sharling, the youngest member of the 15th Tibetan Parliament in Exile and a former executive member of the Tibetan Women’s Association said Xi Jinping should not imprison woman for simply expressing their views rather than express his global rhetoric. "Instead of putting his commitment to gender equality and women development projects in foreign policy priorities, Xi Jinping should have incorporated them into China's domestic policies and work to ensure its implementation. A research report published by Tibetan Women's Association (2013) espoused that the status of women in Tibet starkly reflect China's failure to abide by its national and international commitments.
“Even after 20 years since Beijing 95 conference on women, China's family planning policies and wider repression of women activists and the recent jailing and torture accounts of women activists, all point to the gross rights violations in China and China's poor record on women's rights and gender equality. Therefore as a responsible leader, Xi is expected to correct the situation at the domestic front and then express his global commitments."
Out of the 143 Tibetans who have self immolated till date, 26 were women.