Tibetans to observe women’s day on March 12 every year

Dharamsala, Feb 21 (IANS) Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay on Tuesday said March 12 would formally be observed every year as Tibetan Women’s Day.

“The observance of Tibetan Women’s Day on March 12 will reflect the collective will of the Tibetan leadership and people to accelerate the women’s empowerment policy agenda,” Sangay said here while opening a three-day first-ever Tibetan women’s empowerment conference.

He said Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) departments would continue to prioritise Tibetan women’s empowerment initiatives as its flagship agenda.

The conference, being organised by the CTA, is seeing more than 340 participants, including Tibetan nuns.

Sangay said the conference is a step in the right direction to carry forward the shared vision of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the CTA to promote leadership and compassionate qualities of women.

“Tibetan women parliamentarians were elected as early as 1964 when even some advanced economies still did not have women parliamentarians. In fact, today women constitute over 20 per cent of the elected representatives in the Tibetan Parliament. Women now make up 45 per cent of the overall workforce of the CTA,” he said.

Lauding women’s role in safeguarding Tibet’s rich religious and cultural tradition beginning from the non-violent Tibetan women’s uprising against the repressive policies of the Chinese government on March 12, 1959, he said the vision of the conference is aimed beyond gender equality and on furthering women’s role in all socio-economic and political activities.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan exile administration is based here.