By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, March 8: Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) observes International Women’s Day but distances itself from the Central Tibetan Administration’s Tibetan Women’s Day to be observed on March 12, which also marks the Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day.
“We don’t agree on observing Tibetan Women’s Day on March 12. The day is of historical significance as it marks the Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day. We approached the Kashag over the matter, the day being of historical importance we appealed to the Kashag to observe Tibetan Women’s Day on some other day and deliberate discussion were held over the same at the last session of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile, ” said Dolma Yangchen, the President of TWA.
The Central and Regional TWA today collectively organized an awareness campaign on gender equality and highlighted the grim situation of Tibetan women inside Tibet under the Chinese regime as they observed the International Women’s Day at the main Square of McLeod Ganj here in Dharamsala.
The President of the TWA further called for result-oriented initiatives on women empowerment by the Tibetan administration. TWA’s regional chapters are also observing the day through numerous campaigns and programs.
The President of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) Dr Lobsang Sangay stated in the last parliament session held in September 2017 that the CTA’s decision to observe 12 March as Tibetan Women’s Day is premised on the faith that this historic decision will engender the commemoration of the sacrifices of Tibetan women in Tibet’s history and in a bid to garner mass participation on the Uprising day.
On March 12, 1959, thousands of Tibetan women took to the streets of Lhasa demanding freedom and protested against the illegal occupation of Tibet by Chinese regime. Tibetans observe the day as Tibetan Women’s Uprising day. This year it marks the 59th anniversary of the Tibetan Women’s Uprising day.
International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. It commemorates the movement for Women’s rights. The day was initially celebrated to mark the women’s right to vote in Soviet Russia in 1917 until it was adopted in 1975 by the United Nations.