By Tenzin Dharpo
TCHRD Researcher Tenzin Dawa and Director Tsering Tsomo. Dharamshala, July 27, 2018. Phayul photo- Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, July 27: Rights group Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy on Friday highlighted a set of policy recommendations for the ‘Revised Women’s Empowerment Policy’, introduced by the Dr. Lobsang Sangay led Kashag (Cabinet) in February 2017. TCHRD said it will submit the recommendations to the Central Tibetan Administration.
The recommendations, in essence, implores policy makers to view the matter from the human rights perspective, the organization’s Chief Tsering Tsomo said. Key among the recommendations is also the argument over the lack of civil society consultation by policy makers when drafting the revised policy. Tsomo said that an official platform for feedback and participation by civil society machineries and grassroots to better the existing policy was needed.
The recommendation also seeks tougher stance on ‘Sexual and Gender-based Violence’ by categorizing the acts as violence as well as a criminal offense. While the policy mentions establishment of a “redressal mechanism” for victims, such measures have not been established since the policy was introduced over a year ago, Tsomo said.
Objection over use of dehumanizing stereotypes and language, and vague references were also included in the draft.
“There should be acknowledgment that there is in fact no gender equality in the Tibetan community although the situation of Tibetan women is comparatively better than other countries around the world,” said Tsomo.
The Dharamshala based rights group said that the recommendations were compiled from the “rights-based approach to gender equality and women’s empowerment
workshop” it conducted last month. The initiative was participated by 30 women from the age group of 15-50 including students, teachers, farmers, nuns, entrepreneurs, tour guides, human rights researchers, members of regional chapters of Tibetan Women’s Association and also a trainer on gender sensitisation and gender equality.
TCHRD said it hopes for the recommendations to be amended into the policy and be enacted as laws in the ‘Charter of the Tibetan in exile’.