By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, FEB 2: The Tibetan Prime Minister (Sikyong) Dr. Lobsang Sangay announced his administration’s revised policy on Tibetan Women’s Empowerment in Gangchen Kyishong today.
The Harvard graduate, touted by some as the most popular exile born Tibetan leader with substantial following in Tibet, said the 15th Kashang headed by him strives to make Tibetan women equal partner in all aspects of the society through equal participation in socio-economic and political activities. “The existing empowerment policy initiated in 2008 has been highly beneficial through all the works carried out to empower women. Since there is no end to improvement and keeping the changes around the world in mind, revision was needed to the existing policy,” said the Tibetan Prime Minister while acknowledging the contribution of the 14th Kashag in drafting the policy.
Sangay, in his second consecutive term, said that the present administration recognizes the need to revise the policy to achieve the goal of enabling Tibetan women to take part as equals in all socio-economic and political activities and contribute to the community and the world.
The seven-point revised policy covers women and human rights in Tibet, education, health, economics, governance and leadership, social and sexual and gender based-violence.
Tibetan Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay with Topgyal Tsering, Kashag Secretariat Secretary announcing the 15th Kashag revised Tibetan Women’s Empowerment Policy on February 2, 2017. Photo- Phende/TibetNet
While discoursing on the clauses of the revised policy, the PM said, “Tibetan women in Tibet have always taken crucial role in the Tibetan struggle and safeguarding Tibet’s unique and rich religious, linguistic and cultural traditions. So it is important for the women in exile to deepen ties with them and become a strong advocate for them.”
Taking pride in the ‘no gender pay gap’, the PM said that as of today 45 percent of the workforce in the Tibetan government in exile are women with some department having more than 45 percent.
The Tibetan political leader, condemning sexual and gender-based harassment in schools, settlements, home and in workplaces, said that such cases are unacceptable and should not be put under the wraps.
As part of its commitment on women empowerment, Sangay’s administration is organizing what it called the first ever Women’s Empowerment Conference’ from 21 – 23 February at Dharamshala. The conference is expected to bring together around 250 participants (both women and men) from various parts of the world.