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Tibetan women
Peace, development and equality

August 1995 report, prepared by the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, documents the conditions of Tibetan women inside occupied-Tibet as well as in exile. It touches upon the concerns of Tibetan women. The report, kindly released on the Internet by Nima G. Dorjee (tibet@acs.ucalgary.ca), is available on-line in two electronic formats: (a) as a plain text file (88 Kb); (b) as a set of three interlinked HTML files (prepared by Dr T.Matthew Ciolek) accessible from the URL http://www.ciolek.com/WWWVLPages/TibPages/TibetWomen-Report.html.

Est.: 21 August 1995. Last updated: 21 August 1995. The document is a part of the Tibetan Studies WWW Virtual Library.

Web ciolek.com

Excecutive Summary

Part 2 of 3

Tibetan women under Chinese occupation

ONE. The status of Tibet before 1959

THE territory of Tibet largely corresponds to the geological plateau of Tibet, which consists of 2.5 million square kilometres. At different times in history, wars were fought and treaties signed concerning the precise location of boundaries.

The Government of Tibet was headquartered in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. It consisted of the Head of State (the Dalai Lama), a Council of Ministers (the Kashag), a National Assembly (the Tsongdu), and an extensive bureaucracy to administer the vast territory of Tibet. The judicial system was based on that developed by Emperor Songtsen Gampo (seventh century), Lama Jangchub Gyaltsen (fourteenth century), the Fifth Dalai Lama (seventeenth century) and the Thirteenth Dalai Lama (twentieth century), and was administered by a magistrate appointed by the Government.

The population of Tibet at the time of the Chinese invasion was approximately six million. Tibetans as a people are distinct from the Chinese and other neighbouring peoples. Not only have the Tibetans never considered themselves to be Chinese, the Chinese have also not regarded the Tibetans to be Chinese.

On the eve of China's military invasion, which started at the close of 1949, Tibet possessed all the attributes of independent statehood recognized under international law: a defined territory, a population inhabiting that territory, a government, and the ability to enter into international relations.

Nepal, Bhutan, Britain, China and India maintained diplomatic missions in Tibet's capital, Lhasa. The Tibetan Foreign Office also conducted limited relations with the United States when President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent emissaries to Lhasa to request assistance for the Allied War effort against Japan during the Second World War. Also during the four UN General Assembly debates on Tibet in 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1965, many countries expressly referred to Tibet as an independent country illegally occupied by China.

Tibet's independent foreign policy is perhaps most obviously demonstrated by the country's neutrality during World War II. Despite strong pressure from Britain, the U.S. and China to allow the passage of military supplies through Tibet to China when Japan blocked the strategically vital "Burma Road", Tibet held fast to its declared neutrality. The Allies were constrained to respect this.

The Chinese takeover constituted an aggression on a sovereign state and violation of international law. The continued occupation of Tibet by China, with the help of several hundred thousand troops, represents an ongoing violation of international law and of the fundamental rights of the Tibetan people to independence.

On March 17, 1959 His Holiness the Dalai Lama left Lhasa to seek political asylum in India. He was followed by an unprecedented exodus of Tibetans into exile. Never before, in the long history of Tibet, had so many Tibetans been forced to leave their homeland and under such difficult circumstances. There are now more than 130,000 Tibetan refugees scattered over India and the world.

China tries to justify its occupation and repressive rule of Tibet by pretending that it "liberated" Tibetan society from "medieval feudal serfdom" and "slavery". Beijing trots out this myth to counter every international pressure to review its repressive policies in Tibet.

Traditional Tibetan society was by no means perfect. It was in need of changes, which His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama initiated as soon as he assumed temporal authority in Tibet. However, it was not as bad as China would have us believe. And it certainly was not a "serfdom". As far back as 1960, the International Commission of Jurists' Legal Inquiry Committee reported, "Chinese allegations that the Tibetans enjoyed no human rights before the entry of the Chinese were found to be based on distorted and exaggerated accounts of life in Tibet."

Whatever the case may be, the Chinese justification for "liberation" are invalid. First of all, international law does not accept justifications of this type. No country is allowed to invade, occupy, annex and colonize another country just because its social structure does not please it. Secondly, China is responsible for bringing more suffering in the name of liberation. Thirdly, necessary reforms were initiated by the Tibetan themselves, who were quite capable of carrying them through.

1.1 Tibetan women: Impact of population transfer and military exploitation

THE transfer of civilians by an occupying power into the territory it occupies is a violation of international law, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. However, it is a practice which many occupying powers, colonial administrations and totalitarian rulers have used and still use to break resistance to their rule and consolidate control over the territory. China is implementing the same policy in Tibet. Begun as early as 1949, when China started the invasion of Tibet, this policy poses the greatest threat to the survival of the Tibetan nation and people.

In Lhasa alone, there were 50,000 to 60,000 ordinary Chinese residents in 1985. From 1988 additional Chinese immigrants doubled the population of Lhasa. That this development created problems for the Tibetan population was also recognized by the " of four in China. Why should Tibet spend its money to feed them?... Tibet has suffered greatly because of the policy of sending a large number of useless people. The Chinese population in Tibet started with a few thousand and today it has multiplied manifold".

Besides the influx of Chinese settlers into Tibet, the presence of a large military force in Tibet poses a serious threat to the Tibetan people's human rights and freedom. Tibetan women are being subjected to a major security operation to crush the independence movement and all manifestations of so-called "splittist activities". The government, the police, the army, the judicial system and the legal system are collaborating in the crackdown. The number of PLA troops in Tibet is estimated to be around 300,000, though accurate figures are difficult to obtain. The armed police and other special forces are responsible for arbitrarily arresting, beating and obstructing Tibetan women from exercising their fundamental freedoms such as freedom of assembly and expression. The Public Security Bureau and the People's Armed Police also engage in sexual abuse of Tibetan women whilst they are in their custody.

TWO. The status of Tibetan women before the Chinese occupation

TIBETAN women before the Chinese occupation belonged to a distinct culture which has been preserved in exile. Today the Chinese law dictates that Tibetan culture can only be exercised within the parameters of Chinese rule.

It is necessary gain an understanding of the history of Tibetan women to understand the situation and plight of Tibetan women today.

In the annals of Suishu and T'ang shu-Sui and T'ang dynasty (around the second century AD), there is a reference to the existence of a "women's kingdom" in southeastern Tibet. In this kingdom, the society is described as being matriarchal and matrilineal where political power appeared to have been in the hands of women. Matriliny is also suggested in a Tibetan text of aphorisms from Tun-huang that may be connected to a female-dominated society of the fifth century Sum-pa people. In Tibetan history one also finds that there were times when certain individual women played prominent roles in determining the social development of the Tibetan nation. The mothers of the Tibetan emperors in the period between the seventh and the ninth centuries AD, for instance, are believed to have played active roles in the polity of the state.

In the recent past also Tibetan women have proved themselves to be able administrators and courageous warriors. Miu Gyalmo Palchen Tso took over the work of her ailing husband and governed the province of Amdo with amazing energy. She was a great warrior and shrewd administrator. Similarly Jago Tsewang Dolma was an influential woman and far-sighted administrator in the court of Derge, Kham. Khangsar Yangchen Dolma was a brilliant warrior and chief of the Karze area in Kham, eastern Tibet. Ngarong Chime Dolma was another powerful and brave officer who personally led her soldiers into battlefields with great success. However, she was later captured and killed by the Chinese forces.

Before 1949, Tibetans engaged in a mixed economy consisting of agriculture, animal husbandry and trade. Both men and women engaged in all three activities. Women contributed significantly to agricultural and pastoral pursuits and also engaged in trading activities, in which they held the major decision-making authority. There was some division of labor along gender lines. It was, however, not rigid. A woman's economic contribution to the household was considered significant. Because of the tendency towards extensive social and economic equality in our society, there was no sharply defined division between the kind of work to be done by men and women. In fact, a certain flexibility was prevalent and the division of labor was seen as complementary rather than exploitative.

We can also gain an insight into the position of women by looking at the patterns of marriage and household organization. Marriage arrangements included monogamous, polyandrous and polygamous alliances. Divorce and remarriage (including widow marriage) were acceptable. Polygamy was just as common as polyandry, though both were by no means widespread. They were accepted in some regions to sustain family and social networks and to keep estates undivided, without infringing the rights to which men and women were accustomed. Arranged marriages were the norm but only the daughter, upon marriage, would remain with her family. Her husband would enter her family. Then, upon the death of the household head, the daughter, and not her husband, would head the family estate. At the same time, the possibility of remaining unmarried was open to both men and women.

Buddhism played a significant role in the lives of Tibetan women. Although the number of monks is greater than that of nuns, becoming a nun provided an alternative and positive role for women in society. Becoming a nun was a matter of choice. Prior to 1959, there were 270 nunneries with over 15,600 nuns throughout Tibet. Besides, many nuns lived in small groups in retreat communities or hermitages.

The Chinese authorities have time and again tried to portray traditional Tibetan society in a negative light to legitimize their "liberation of a nation which endured in backwardness even in this modern age". It is true that in the past Tibetan women did not feature prominently in the political and administrative aspects of Tibetan history. However, all the great nations of today went through periods of feudalism, slavery, casteism and other medieval evils. At no point of history were the Tibetan women subjected to foot-binding, veiling, dowry or concubinage. It is not fair to compare the status of Tibetan women in the past to that of present under Chinese occupation. It is more justified to compare Tibetan women in Tibet with their counterparts in exile. The women in Tibet enjoy none of the human rights and freedom that are taken for granted in exile.

THREE. The status of Tibetan women under Chinese occupation

3.1 China's lack of commitment to internationally-recognized standards of women's human rights

THE status of Tibetan women must be seen in terms of human rights dimensions of gender violence and inequality. The Chinese are violating the fundamental human rights of Tibetan women, such as the reproductive rights, right to education, right to be free from discrimination, coercion and violence.

China is bound by the objectives and obligations arising from its accession to the convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women [1979] (CEDAW) which it signed on November 4, 1980. Upon signing CEDAW China became bound to recognize its objectives, one being

"Emphasizing that the eradication of apartheid, all forms of racism, racial discrimination, colonialism, neo-colonialism, aggression, foreign accupation and domination and interference in the internal affairs of states is essential to the full enjoyment of the rights of men and women."

China often quotes the laws that it has passed to establish the argument that it is protecting the fundamental rights of Tibetan women. A Chinese report on Tibetan women even stated recently that:

"The basic principles underlying legislation for women in China are: Equal rights for men and women, protecting women's special rights and interests, and banning discriminating against, maltreating, injuring, and killing women. Women in Tibet, a provincial level autonomous region in China, are certainly protected by Chinese laws enacted for all women in China."

A study of the manner in which these laws are implemented highlights the great discrepancy between law in theory and law in practice. The continued discrimination of Tibetan women in the fields of health and education, their arbitrary arrests, detention and torture without fair trials are the indicators of this discrepancy. In addition, Tibetan women also suffer physically and mentally under a stringent and irrational birth-control policy which dictates how women's lives and their reproductive roles will be determined. Human rights are also women's right and should apply to Tibetan women as well.

3.2 Claims of the equality: Discrepancy between theory and practice

IN addition to the great discrepancy between law in theory and in practice (which this report will serve to highlight), law in theory, itself, reveals its discriminatory attitudes towards women.

A Chinese report on Tibetan women recently stated that:

"Freedom of marriage has become the general concept of contemporary Tibetan women. Women's right to divorce and remarry is duly guaranteed, thus improving the quality of marriage and the stability of the family, and laying the foundation for equal rights between husband and wife". In October 1994 the 'Mother and Child Health Law' was passed by the National People's Congress, to take effect from June 1995. The law delegates discretionary power to Chinese officials who can prevent marriages and births from occurring on certain grounds. Besides, these grounds involve a determination of the mental and physical health of the parents. The official can decide not to grant the relevant couple approval if one is suffering from a mental or hereditary disease which is serious and likely to affect others.

"Therefore, a couple who wishes to marry must first go through a medical examination. If the doctor concludes that one or both of the couple have either a mental disorder or hereditary disease, then the couple will be denied permission to marry. The aim of the regulations is to ensure that the couples that procreate will have healthy babies.

"If there is a risk of the couple producing deformed or unhealthy babies then they must divorce. This law also dictates the abortion of all foetuses identified as mentally or physically handicapped, as well as abortions for and/or sterilization of women suffering from mental instability, hereditary or infectious diseases."

FOUR. Occupation and its impact on the political rights of Tibetan girls and women

4.1 The persecution of Tibetan women for the exercise of their fundamental civil and political rights:

CHINA has imprisoned hundreds of Tibetan political activists since the invasion and occupation of Tibet, many of them being women and young girls. Amnesty International said, in a report released in June this year, that there were 628 prisoners held in the "TAR" jails by the end of 1994 for their political beliefs, including 182 women and forty five persons under the age of eighteen and some as young as twelve. A 1994 report by Tibet Information Network, a London-based independent news monitor, stated that out of 255 political prisoners in Lhasa's Drapchi Prison, sixty eight were women; in 1991 this prison held only twenty three women prisoners. (See Appendix I for a partial list of Tibetan women political prisoners).

Fifty nuns were reportedly arrested in connection with peaceful independence activities in Tibet during the first quarter of 1995. More arrests were made during the first three months of the year than in the whole of 1994.

The majority of these women political prisoners were sexually abused via torture techniques, and received no medical attention for injuries suffered. The following are the stories of some Tibetan girl and women prisoners of conscience:

4.1.a. Women prisoners of conscience

WOMEN make up nearly a third of the hundreds of political prisoners held in Tibet. Many have been tortured. Amnesty International's report "Women in China" states that by far the largest group of female political prisoners known to Amnesty International in China is imprisoned in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Ven. Phuntsog Nyidron (nun), at the time of her arrest was twenty four years old. She was arrested on October 14, 1989 along with fourteen other nuns for participating in the peaceful demonstration held in the Bakhor area, in the old town of Lhasa. The demonstration called for an end to the Chinese occupation in Tibet. On October 8, 1993, she, along with thirteen other nun inmates, sang a song for the independence of Tibet and His Holiness the Dalai Lama in front of the prison guards. The authorities reacted to the song by extending her prison sentence by eight more years. Serving a total of seventeen years in Drapchi prison, Phuntsog Nyidron is now the longest serving, known woman political prisoner in Tibet. Phuntsog Nyidron, incidentally, was a nominee for the 1995 Reebok Human Rights Award.

Fourteen nuns from Garu nunnery were sentenced to prison terms ranging from two to seven years for their alleged participation in a demonstration, which, unofficial sources in Tibet claim, never actually took place. The nuns were arrested on June 14, 1993, a day when no demonstration in or near Lhasa was reported. Sources from the city believe the nuns were arrested before they managed to begin a protest. Among the nuns arrested that day was the thirteen-year-old Gyaltsen Pelsang, who died in February 1995, shortly after her parole for medical treatment. Informed sources attribute her death to constant torture in captivity.

4.2 Young girls as political prisoners: abuse of human rights

IN May 1995 Amnesty International released a report expressing its particular concern about the number of youths that were being detained and imprisoned for taking part in peaceful demonstrations -- "some of them were only twelve years old".

Among the female political prisoners arrested between 1991 and 1994, at least eleven, under the age of eighteen at the time of their arrests, were reportedly still in detention in December 1994. Of them, seven were under eighteen in 1994.

Amnesty International recently stated in a report on human rights violations in Tibet that:

"..youths, like adults, have been subjected to beatings, electric shocks, solitary confinement and deprivation of sleep, food or drink as punishment. Beatings by the police are reported to be particularly common."

4.2.a. Documented abuses of Tibetan girl prisoners

WOMEN prisoners of conscience are particularly vulnerable to torture or ill-treatment as police officials attempt to extract information or confessions from them in order to formalize the arrest or justify their detention. There have been frequent reports from prisons of degrading methods of torture for the purpose of extracting confessions. These include setting of guard dogs on prisoners, use of electric batons especially on women prisoners in extremely perverted and degrading manners, inflicting cigarette burns, administration of shock, etc. One recent refugee from eastern Tibet, who was a member of the Chinese Public Security Bureau, described thirty-three methods of torture of prisoners.

Below are several accounts of Tibetan girls who have been reported tortured or ill-treated.

At least a dozen Tibetans, aged fifteen or younger, most of the them nuns, have been imprisoned for political offenses. Many, like Gyaltsen Pelsang, never received sentences and were held without any indication as to when they would be released. Gyaltsen Pelsang was reported to have been aged fifteen at the time of her arrest but it is now believed that she was aged thirteen when she was detained. According to our sources, she was held in Gurtsa Detention Center, outside Lhasa, where the majority of young Tibetan Political prisoners are held, often without charge or trial.

Three nuns from Michungri nunnery near Lhasa _ Jampa Dedrol, Tenzin Dekyong and Ngawang Drolma, all of them aged fourteen or fifteen _ spent up to a year without trial in Gurtsa in 1993 after staging a demonstration on March 13, 1993.

The youngest of the recent prisoners is Sherab Ngawang, a Michungri nun who was formally sentenced by the "Re-education-Through-Reform" Committee to three years in detention. She was only twelve years old at the time of her arrest. She died recently due to torture in police custody. Three years was the maximum sentence that could be imposed by the committee. Under the Chinese law Sherab was too young to be sentenced, and it has been suggested that the Chinese authorities were unaware of her age. However, a court document obtained by the Tibet Information Network in London, suggests otherwise. It says that she was too young to be tried with the other demonstrators, meaning the authorities knew she was under sixteen.

Jampa Dedrol was fifteen at the time of her arrest on June 14, 1993. She had been a novice at Michungri nunnery near Lhasa. She was reportedly arrested for peacefully demonstrating in Lhasa, and taken to Gurtsa Detention Centre. There has been no recent news of her whereabouts.

Tenzin Dekyong, a novice at Michungri nunnery near Lhasa, was sixteen at the time of her arrest during a peaceful demonstration in Lhasa on March 13, 1993. Reports suggest that she was beaten at the time of her arrest and subsequently taken to Gurtsa Detention centre. According to China's laws, "abuse", "corporal punishment" and "maltreatment" of "offenders" are "strictly forbidden".

4.2.b. Violations of Chinese law and international human rights law

THE ill-treatment meted out to young detainees in Tibet violates international human rights treaties which China is legally bound to observe. The People's Republic of China signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on August 29, 1990 and ratified it on March 2, 1992. Article 37(b) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that:

"No child shall be deprived of his/her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time"

Article 37(a) also states that:

"No child shall be subjected to torture, or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither Capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offenses committed by persons below 18 years of age".

On the Face of it, Chinese law also seeks to protect the physical and mental safety of minors. The Constitution of the People's Republic of China [1982], in Article 49 states that Children need special protection and should never be maltreated. The Law on the Protection of Minors, Article 52 also states that:

"Agents of the legal administration who infringe the regulations of surveillance in custody, who commit corporal punishment and ill-treatment against juveniles, shall bear criminal responsibility in accordance with Article 189 of the Criminal Law". There are also other legal protections in Chinese law that exist to protect the interests of minors.

As reported above, the treatment of young female prisoners violates both the international obigations that the Chinese Government has agreed to observe by ratifying the relevant international conventions and also its own law that it has created to protect minors, especially young female prisoners.

4.3 Violence against Tibetan women: Torture and sexual abuse of women activists and those in custody

TIBETAN women are being sexually assaulted in an organized and systematic way by the Chinese authorities. Reports and allegations of physical assault, sexual abuse and harassment in Chinese prisons in Tibet filter across the Himalayas. The Chinese authorities have themselves acknowledged the use of torture in obtaining confessions. This torture and sexual abuse have led thousands of women to flee Tibet. However it is extremely difficult to assess the full extent of sexual abuse and violence against women in Tibet. The humiliation and social stigma discourage many women from reporting such abuses.

A report issued jointly by LawAsia and TIN in March 1991 stated that:

"Written and oral accounts by nuns of their experiences in prison, particularly in Gurtsa, are strikingly consistent and indicate that nuns have been singled out for special treatment. Torture apparently reserved for nuns include the use of dogs to bite prisoners; lighted cigarettes being applied to the torso and face, and the use of electric batons in the genitals".

The People's Republic of China has ratified the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Criminal Law of the PRC also stipulates that "it is strictly forbidden to extort confession by torture" (Article 136). The Criminal Procedure Law repeats the prohibition of "extortion of confessions by torture" or by other "unlawful means". The Regulations on Detention Centers which came into force in March 1990 provide that "beating and verbal abuse, corporal punishment" and "maltreatment" of "offenders" are "strictly forbidden".

The following are details of specific instances where Tibetan women have been tortured and have lived to tell their stories.

Dawa Langzom, a nun, was arrested in 1989 in Lhasa, after shouting independence slogans during a demonstration. On the police jeep, which took her to Gurtsa Detention Centre, the arresting officers cut off one of her nipples with a pair of scissors, according to nuns who have now fled Tibet.

Ngawang Kyizom was arrested for shouting slogans like "Long live the Dalai Lama" and "Free Tibet" at the entrance of the Jokhang (the main cathedral in Lhasa). For this outburst, in September 1990, Chinese secret police kicked and beat her, jabbed her with an electric cattle prod on her tongue, breasts and thighs and then jailed her for three years without a proper trial.

Another Tibetan woman, the twenty-six-year old Sonam Dolkar, was arrested in July 1990 on suspicion of her involvement in independence activities. Although she denied any political connections, she was interrogated under torture every other day for six months. She endured a fearsome range of torture techniques. She was stripped naked, slapped and punched. She was wrapped in electric wires and given electric shocks until she fainted. She was prodded with electric batons all over her body and on the face. Electric batons were also pushed into her genitals. She was restrained in handcuffs and leg-irons throughout her ordeal and held in solitary confinement on the days she was not tortured. By early 1991 she was vomiting and urinating blood every day and was in such a condition that a doctor was finally called to see her. She was eventually transferred to a police hospital from where she managed to escape. She left the country clandestinely during the second half of 1991.

Damchoe Pemo, a Lhasa businesswoman in her mid-twenties, was arrested in Lhasa on May 20, 1993. According to unofficial reports, she miscarried her baby a week after police forced her to remain standing for at least twelve hours and beat her with electric batons. At the time of arrest, she was reportedly four or five months into pregnancy. According to one source, she was tortured for refusing to reveal the names of Tibetan underground activists. She was apparently arrested on suspicion of being a member of an independence organization. Her release was officially announced on October 29, 1994 to European ambassadors during a meeting in Beijing.

4.4. Death in custody

ACCORDING to reports received, since 1991 five Tibetan women have died in custody or shortly after being released. These women are no doubt the victims of mistreatment and abuse in custody.

Most recently a nun political prisoner, Gyaltsen Kelsang, died, apparently as a result of maltreatment and poor living conditions in custody. She was the tenth known political prisoner since 1987 to die shortly after leaving prison, and the fourth woman to die in four years. At least two other prisoners have been hospitalized in serious conditions in the last five months. In October 1994 European diplomats visiting Lhasa raised the case of Gyaltsen Kelsang and fourteen other Garu nuns with the Vice-chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region. The Vice-chairman told the diplomats that the nuns had been convicted of "separatist activities". The diplomats appeal for clemency and further information about the nuns' condition remains unfulfilled.

In its May 1995 report Amnesty International said:

"In the recent past, three young Tibetan women have died shortly after release from prison, and that the Chinese Government's accounts of the reasons for, and circumstances of, their death are inadequate and did not respond to allegations of ill-treatment".

An eighteen-year-old girl, Sherap Wangmo, died as a result of severe torture which she received whilst in Drapchi prison. She was imprisoned for three years for taking part in an independence demonstration.

A fifteen-year-old girl, Sherap Ngawang, also died in 1995 whilst serving a prison sentence for shouting independence slogans. The Tibet Information Network (TIN) reported on 30 May 1995 that:

"A Tibetan nun believed to have been the youngest political prisoner in Tibet died two weeks ago just after release from prison, apparently as a result of being beaten for pulling a face at prison guards, or through lack of medical treatment, according to unofficial reports from Tibet... Sherab Ngawang, thought to have been 15 years old when she died, was released from detention in February 1995 after completing a three year sentence for joining a pro-independence demonstration in 1992. Five women were involved in that protest, and Sherab's death means that two of those five women have now died either in custody or just after being released".

On June 4, 1994 Phuntsog Yangki, a twenty-year-old Tibetan nun and prisoner of conscience serving her sentence in Drapchi prison, died in a police hospital in Lhasa. She was serving a five-year prison sentence for taking part in a brief independence demonstration in February 1992. According to unofficial reports, she was beaten by prison guards after she and other nuns sang nationalist songs on February 11, 1994.

FIVE. Birth-control policy in Tibet: Physical violation of Tibetan women

THE Chinese government, by implementing its birth control policy in Tibet, continues to violate Tibetan women's reproductive choices.

Tibetans are devout Buddhists who hold reverence for all life forms and specially so for human life which is believed to be very precious. This is because of their belief that to be born a human being is to get a chance to attain enlightenment. To practice abortion is to deprive a human being of that opportunity and to submit to sterilization is to prevent a person who deserves to be born from being so born. Therefore, the act of performing abortions and sterilizations is considered sinful and it is particularly offensive to Tibetan women, since the killing of a sentient being is a sin. So, the forced implementation of birth-control and abortion not only deprives Tibetan women of their reproductive rights but this policy is a serious infringement of their religious rights as well.

In 1984 China announced a new policy, restricting the number of children per family to two. Orders were issued for the imposition of fines (ranging from 1,500 to 3,000 yuan or US $ 400 to 800) for the birth of a third child. Extra children were denied ration cards, and workers violating the rule had their pay cut to the extent of fifty percent, or withheld altogether for three to six months in some cases.

According to the Civil Affairs Department of Shigatse, in July 1990 a team from Shigatse Child and Maternity Hospital visited a remote and poor area of Bhuchung district to carry out examinations. It was found that 387 women in this sparesly populated rural area had been sterilized. The team had gone to ten districts to propagate family planning, resulting in the sterilization of 1,092 women out of 2,419.

Birth-control policy is forced more repressively on the poluation of Kham and Amdo. For example, in "Gansu Parig Tibetan Autonomous County" 2,415 women were sterilized in 1983 of whom eighty two percent were Tibetans. In 1987, 764 women of child bearing age were sterilized in Zachu district in "Karze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture": 660 were Tibetans. Mobile birth-control teams comb the countryside and pastoral areas where they round up women for abortion and sterilization. Even women well advanced in their pregnancy are forced to undergo abortion, followed by sterilization.

On November 5, 1987, the "TAR' Family Planning Department head, Tsering Dolkar, stated at a meeting:

"There are 104,024 women of child-bearing age, of whom 76,220 are married. Of them, 22,634 have already undergone birth-control operations, constituting thirty percent of women of child-bearing age in the TAR. In 1985, after the science of family planning was announced in the countryside and pastoral areas, there has been a perceptible change in the mental outlook and birth rates in these areas. In 1986, nineteen percent of women in Nyingtri, Lhokha and Shigatse were sterilized."

Tibetan women, like women all over the world, should have the inalienable right to control their bodies. Their right to privacy should be protected. Although China officially claims that its one-child birth control policy does not apply to "China's Minorities", evidence shows that the policy implemented China is applied in Tibet as well. Young women with one or no children are routinely sterilized. Vasectomies are forced on Tibetan men. No women under twenty two years of age are allowed to have children. Thereafter, they can have a child only with a birth permit from the authorities. Then there are various subtle birth-control policies such as restrictions on who may give birth, at what age and where, and fines of up to 2,000 yuan (U.S.$ 400) for "illegal" children, and incentives for one-child families, etc.

According to Pema, a Tibetan doctor who worked in a Chinese hospital in Amdo (Northeastern Tibet) prior to her recent escape to India, Chinese birth-control teams operate in hospitals, villages and nomadic areas.

She states: "The teams have a monetary incentive to do abortions and sterilizations on as many women as possible.

"The more names the Chinese doctors collect the more money they get from their government as well as from the unwilling victims."

According to Mrs. Lhankar, a 37-year-old Tibetan woman born in eastern Tibet:

"The Chinese policy is one child per family and we have to pay heavy fines for each extra child. In a sense we are paying a `human tax'. In 1988 the Chinese took me by force and sterilized me. Since I had had more children than was officially allowed, my children were designated as illegal and deprived of all rights of citizenship as dictated by Chinese ideology. We were no longer eligible for ration cards, resident registration or travel permits. In reality, my children became non-entities.

"Along with me, nearly thirty other women were sterilized at the same time. I can say that seventy percent of the women, aged eighteen and above, in my village have been sterilized. They (the Chinese) treat us like animals and use crude methods. My sister-in-law was aborted before her husband's eyes. She was four months into pregnancy when they took her to the clinic by force. They bound her hands and legs. A doctor, wearing gloves, put his hand into her vagina and seemed to squeeze the foetus. She became delirious and bled profusely. Many other pregnant women, some at seven months, were given injections in the stomach. The women wailed in agony and delivered dead foetuses. While operating, medical staff often made incisions without anaesthesia and with little consideration for the pain that was being inflicted. I have witnessed these terrible things with my own eyes"

According to another source from Amdo, in Huangnan (Tibetan: Malho) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, a Chinese government announcement at a public meeting stated that birth-prevention operations should be carried out to such an extent that two families would become one. In Awar village of the Henan Mongol Autonomous County (an area of Tibetans with Mongolian ancestry), the family of Dhondup, in 1992, was imposed a fine of 3,000 Yuan for exceeding the official limit on birth; and as he did not have such a hugh sum of money, the family's grain stock and other properties were confiscated. In the same village, the family of Dolma was fined 1,500 yuan for exceeding the official limit on birth. The source stated that there had been many other such cases.

Another report of forced birth-control implementation comes from Nagchu, northern Tibet. According to a source, a new "child care" hospital had been set up in Nagchu town by the Chinese authorities. It had some Tibetan medical personnel from Nagchu, too. With its establishment, the situation had become a nightmare to pregnant Tibetan women. Women becoming pregnant without the official permit would have their foetuses killed. This was done by inserting a small electric device into the womb, through the vagina. The electric device minced up the foetus. Following this, the woman was made to take a pill and the foetus taken out in bits and pieces. The Chinese authorities do not talk publicly about this method of foetus-killing, the source said. Such a crude method of pre-natal termination of pregnancy had been reported earlier from the northwestern Tibetan area of Qinghai too.

SIX. Increasing poverty and its consequence on Tibetan women

YEAR after year, the Chinese Government claims great economic advancement in Tibet: bumper crops, industrial growth, improvement of infrastructure and so forth. These claims were made even in 1961-1964 and 1968-1973, when Tibet was suffering its only famines in history.

6.1 An overview of the political-economic situation in Tibet

THE pattern of development in Tibet is intended to control the Tibetan economy rather than stimulate initiative enterprises and production. In the past four decades, there has been some economic progress in Tibet in certain areas like transportation, tele-communications, electricity, etc. However, these developments have tended only to support the Chinese population in Tibet. For instance, the beneficiaries of the World Food Programme's Agricultural Project Number 3357 in the Lhasa valley are the Chinese settlers, although it is meant for Tibetan villagers. Similarly, industrial development in Tibet has been in the field of mining for the exploitation of Tibet's natural resources for the benefit of China, while Tibet has to import all its needs for manufactured goods from China.

The late Panchen Lama, in his last speech in 1989, remarked, "The price Tibet paid for this development was higher than the gains". This speech was reported in China Daily, by its staff reporter Guo Zhongshi.

There is increasing evidence to suggest that the economic rewards of China's development policies in Tibet are not distributed equitably amongst the population of Tibet, and that in fact the main beneficiaries are Chinese settlers. Tibet's utilitarian role in China's economic progress is explicitly spelled out in the eighth Five Year Plan (1991-1995). The difference in the standard of living between China and Tibet is striking: whilst China has a rating of 94 in UNDP's HD index in 1994, the rating for Tibet is 131.

Whilst Tibet remains under foreign occupation, Tibetans, the custodians of Tibet for millennia, have no control over the development which is taking place in their country. As a people under foreign occupation, Tibetan women are deprived of the opportunity to voice their opinions as to whether the development program being implemented in Tibet is necessary or desirable. An examination of current development projects and policies in Tibet reveals that the largest proportion of investment activity is focused on large scale industrial and infrastructural projects and the exploitation of natural resources, and strengthening of China's control in Tibet.

The Chinese frequently emphasize Tibetan people's "backwardness" as a factor inhibiting Tibet's economic progress. This overtly colonialist attitude is used to justify the importation from China of Chinese "specialists" and "technicians" to work on and administer development initiatives in Tibet.

In December 1994 Tibetan delegates to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body to the Government and Party, charged that in spite of the glowing reports of economic improvements in Tibet, Tibetans in some areas are now weak with hunger, and poverty is increasing. They also stated that rampant inflation, widespread corruption, poor education and high illiteracy are plaguing Tibet. In Sog County, Nagchu, located in the northern rim of the Tibet Autonomous Region, 4,446 people are said to be in a state of severe hunger and forty percent of the population lives below the poverty line. The documents written by these delegates provide some of the most stinging criticisms and details of social and economic policies in Tibet and are evidence of divisions and bitterness amongst a core of people who were thought to be loyal and supportive of the government.

The following is a direct translation of excerpts from some of these documents:

"Inflation, poverty, and starvation

"On May 13, 1994 deputies from Nyangchi, Ngari, Shigatse, Lhoka and Nagchu prefectures held a meeting in which they complained that due to rampant inflation, a great many of farmers and nomads, including residents of cities and suburban areas are having an extremely hard time. Households under the poverty line are increasing significantly, they complained.

"Tulku Ngawang Jigdrol, vice-chairman of the local Chinese People's Political Consultative Committee (CPPCC) in Sog county, and Athar, vice-chairman of CPPCC in Nagchu prefecture, reported to the meeting that in the three eastern counties of Nagchu area (Sog, Biru, Bhachen), poverty is so devastating that households falling under the poverty line are increasing significantly. In the last two years snowstorms and hail have already reduced the production to fifty percent and this year's rampant inflation on food-grain put most of the farmers and nomads in almost unbearable difficulties."

The general economic impact of the Chinese settlers on Tibetans may be gauged from the following example: Of the 12,827 shops and restaurants in Lhasa city (excluding the ones in the Barkhor area) only 300 are owned by Tibetans. In Tsawa Pasho, southern Kham, Chinese own 133 business enterprises whereas Tibetans own only 15. The ownership ratio is similar in other Tibetan towns: 748 to 92 in Chamdo, 229 to 3 in Powo Tramo. The situation is far worse in the urban centres of Amdo, where, according to one British journalist, Tibetans are reduced to "tourist curios".

6.2 Poverty and women

THE Fourth World Conference on Women will be placing the feminization of poverty high on its agenda. The conference, whilst discussing these problems, should also take into account the feminization of poverty from the perspective of women in occupied countries who are being discriminated against on the basis of both their sex and race.

Tibetan women experience poverty different from that of their male counterparts. Tibetan women need social support systems for health, family planning and education. Abject poverty exposes Tibetan women to extreme hardship in gaining employment and educational opportunities. As household members, women find it difficult to obtain even the most basic amenities for sustaining their families. So much so that the third Tibetan official fact-finding mission from Dharamsala was told by a woman in Tibet that she had to feed her baby with the soup made of her own blood.

As long as China controls Tibetan economy to serve the interest of the Chinese, Tibetan women will not be able to participate in in economic decision-making processes that affect their future lives. They will continue to be hamstrung by the lack of access to education, health services, employment and participation in development projects.

6.2.a. Tibetan women and education

EDUCATION in Tibet today is neither free nor universally available. Overwhelming numbers of Tibetan girls still do not go to school either because there are no schools or, where they are available, parents cannot afford the fees.

6.2.b. Education before the Chinese invasion

IN independent Tibet there were over 6,259 monasteries and nunneries which served as schools and universities, fulfilling Tibet's unique education needs. Drepung monastery in Lhasa alone had at any given time over 10,000 students coming mostly from the peasantry. In addition there was a sizable network of private and government schools all over Tibet.

6.2.b.i. Education in Tibet today

OF the over six thousand traditional institutes of learning, only thirteen survived the Chinese destruction. An overwhelming number of them are still heaps of rubble and their rebuilding or renovation is strictly under Chinese censorship. Similarly, almost all the learned scholars and teachers, the human repositories of Tibet's rich religious philosophical, intellectual and literary heritage, were persecuted. Most of them were executed or died under various forms of torture or incarceration.

Education policies inside Tibet today serve to favour Chinese as the medium for teaching. The cost of education is high and many places are reserved for Chinese settlers as a part of the incentive package to encourage more Chinese to move into Tibet. Tibetan women and girls are, therefore, escaping Tibet everyday to seek an adequate education in India, the seat of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.

According to UNICEF, illiteracy rate is seventy three percent in Tibet as against thirty one percent in China. Amnesty International in a recently published report stated that:

"Only sixty percent of school age children attend schools in the TAR, according to Chinese Press reports". Members of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile's third fact-finding delegation (on education) to Tibet were told by the Chinese Government that there were 2,511 schools in Tibet. However, Mrs Jetsun Pema, leader of the delegation says:

"Wherever we went it was extremely difficult to arrange a visit to a school. "The school is closed for summer vacation, the headmaster is away, the children have gone for lunch" (at 10:am), were some of the excuses. After one such excuse the delegation looked into the classrooms and found them stacked from floor to ceiling with timber. Another time, on being shown a rural tent classroom, the delegates lifted the groundsheet and found the grass still green underneath".

While the Chinese in Tibet study English right from the Primary school stage, Tibetans are taught this language only when they reach the third year at Upper Middle School level.

John Billington, Director of studies at Repton School in England, travelled extensively through Tibet in 1988 and reported the following :

"In rural areas especially, a large number of children can be seen working in the fields cutting grass, herding sheep, collecting yak dung and working at stalls. Enquiry reveals that they do not go to school, in most cases because no schools exist. It was sad to hear older people say that there had been schools in the past attached to a monastery, but that when the monasteries were destroyed the little rural schools have not been replaced. Well off the beaten track, I met elderly nomads who could read and write; it was too often a brutal reminder of Chinese neglect that their grandchildren could not".

There have been several demonstrations staged by the students in Tibet in recent years to protest against the high costs of education, discrimination against Tibetan students and Tibetan studies, poor educational facilities and the lack of basic sanitation in the existing schools.

The medium of teaching from Middle School level upwards is Chinese even in an area where the Chinese Government claims by its 1990 census that 95.46 percent of the population is Tibetan.

The first Australian Human Rights Delegation to China in July 1991 stated in its report:

"Though the delegation noted an official determination to raise educational standards for Tibetans, many Tibetan children appear to still go without formal education. Tibetan children in Lhasa area seemingly have access to a very limited syllabus at both primary and secondary levels. Some testified to never having been at school, or having to leave for economic reasons as early as ten years old".

In a petition, dated February 20, 1986, submitted to the Chinese authorities, Tashi Tsering, an English teacher at Lhasa's Tibet University, stated:

"In 1979, 600 students from the Tibet Autonomous Region were pursuing university education in Tibet and China. Of them, only 60 were Tibetans. In 1984 Tibet's three big schools had 1,984 students on their rolls, out of which only 666 were Tibetans. In the same year 250 students from Tibet may have been sent to universities in the Mainland. But only 60 to 70 of them were Tibetans... Most of the government outlay meant for Tibetan education is used on Chinese students. Even today, 70 per cent of Tibetans are illiterate.

"Out of 28 classes in Lhasa's Middle School No. 1, 12 are for Tibetans.... Out of 1,451 students, 933 are Tibetans and 518 Chinese. Not only are the Chinese students not learning Tibetan, 387 of the Tibetan students are not learning Tibetan either. Only 546 Tibetans are learning their language. Of the 111 teachers, only 30 are Tibetans and seven teach Tibetan. I have heard that the best qualified teachers are assigned to teach the Chinese classes whereas unqualified teachers teach the Tibetan classes.

"In Lhasa's Tibet University, there are 413 Tibetan students and 258 Chinese. 251 Tibetans are in the Tibetan language and Literature stream and 27 in the Tibetan Medical Studies Stream. Only 135 Tibetan students get to study modern subjects... The Tibetan departments are generally known as the 'Departments of Political Manipulation'. This is because, while the authorities have fixed 60 percent of seats for Tibetan students and 40 per cent for Chinese students, most of the Tibetan students are absorbed into these two Tibetan departments, leaving the majority of the seats in modern education streams to the Chinese.... The English Department of this University has two Tibetan students and fourteen Chinese".

Tibetan women are denied their basic cultural rights to learn and speak their own language. On the Tibetan new year day of 1993, women prisoners in Lhasa's Drapchi prison were not allowed to wear the traditional Tibetan dress. When the prisoners complained about this, they were subjected to brutal beatings.

From 1966 onwards complete sinicization became the watchword. The Tibetan language was labelled as the language of religion and the teaching of the Tibetan language was forbidden. Some time in the 1960s monk and nun teachers as well as qualified lay Tibetan teachers were nearly all ordered to leave their teaching jobs. "Fluency in the Chinese language has become a prerequisite for obtaining employment, even for unskilled positions. This provides little incentive for young Tibetans to become proficient in their own language. In fact, opportunities to learn Tibetan are limited, as entrance examinations to upper level schools are conducted in the Chinese language.

Every year a certain number of university seats in Tibet and China are officially reserved for "Tibetan" students and this financial allocation forms part of the budget for Tibetan education. However, the majority of these seats go to Chinese students due only to the fact that they have finished school in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), or owing to their Tibet residency registration. Thus the real beneficiaries of educational opportunities are the Tibet- resident Chinese. Even scholarships to study abroad, meant for Tibetan students, go to Chinese residents in Tibet because they are deemed Tibetan due to their residential status. Since the early 1980s well over 6,000 children have risked everything to journey across the Himalayas to India in the hope that they may receive in exile what they have been denied back home: education. Many children escaping across the Himalayas have been unaccompanied minors. The UNHCR office in Kathmandu registered thirty such minors in the first two months of 1995 alone. These children are lucky; many such minors have been reported missing along the escape route. During their arduous journey many children have suffered frostbite; others have been drowned while trying to negotiate dangerous rivers along the escape route. Some children have succeeded in their escape only after several failed attempts.

In order to reverse the tide of escaping Tibetan youngsters, the Chinese authorities in Lhasa issued orders in August 1994 to Tibetan government officials and employees instructing them to recall their children to Tibet. Warnings were issued that those who failed to obey the order would be demoted or possibly expelled from their jobs, that their promotions and pay increments would be withheld, and cadres would be expelled from the party. The ban is not restricted to cadres and government employees alone, the order also stated that students presently being educated in India would lose their right to a residence permit if they did not return to Tibet within the stipulated time.

The Women's desk of the Department of Information and International Relations recently interviewed women who have just escaped from Tibet. All those interviewed cited the absence of educational opportunities and freedom as thereason for their escape.

6.2.c. Tibetan women and health

TIBETAN women, like women in many other countries, suffer from low levels of health care as a result of economic, social and political factors such as foreign occupation. In occupied Tibet, the health service is not only urban-biased, but also serves the Chinese colonists and the rich better than the predominantly poor Tibetans. Only ten percent of financial outlay for health goes to rural areas: ninety percent goes to urban centers where Chinese settlers are concentrated and where most hospitals are located. Even when available, medical facilities are prohibitively expensive for most Tibetans.

Admission to a hospital as an in-patient requires a deposit from 300 to 500 yuan (U.S.$ 80 to 133), an impossible fee for a population whose average per capita income is 200 yuan. Likewise, surgery and blood transfusions are reserved only for those who can pay. The average Tibetan is economically disadvantaged against Chinese who receive "hardship posting" subsidies.

A swedish delegation to Tibet reported in 1994 that:

"There were only 10,000 trained doctors in the whole of Tibet and there was a considerable shortage of staff in the rural areas and small communities. The number of doctors was just over two per thousand inhabitants."

That mortality rate for Tibetans is much higher than Chinese is a pointer to the poor health service and the low standards of public hygiene in Tibet. In 1981 crude death rates per thousand were 7.48 in the Tibet Autonomous Region and 9.92 in Amdo, as against an average of 6.6 in China, according to the report of the World Bank in 1984 and the UNDP in 1991. Child mortality rates are also high: 150 per thousand in Tibet against forty three for China. The tuberculosis morbidity rate, according to the World Bank, is 120.2 per 1,000 in Tibet Autonomous Region and 647 per 1,000 in Amdo.

6.2.c.i. Pregnancy and medical abuse:

THERE have been numerous reports of Chinese doctors and health personnel using Tibetan patients as guinea pigs to practice their skills. It is commonplace that Chinese medical graduates sent to Tibet for internship are given independent charge of Tibetan patients whom they are free to treat in any way they wish. There are widespread allegations of common Tibetan patients being subjected to examination for diseases other than those they complained of. Especially, operations are being carried out without any obvious or actual need.

In August 1978, Kalsang (from eastern Tibet) and his wife Youdon took their 21-year old daughter, who was three months pregnant, to the "TAR Hospital No.2" (then known as Worker's Hospital)&for an examination. The Chinese doctor carried out an apparently unnecessary operation on her. She died two hours later, crying in great physical agony.

Again, around the same period, when a worker named Migmar of the Lhasa Electric Power Station took his 25-year old wife to Lhasa City Hospital for delivery, both the mother and child died after a failed attempt at a caesarian delivery. When the mother's body was dismembered at her "sky burial" (an ancient Tibetan practice of feeding the dismembered parts of the deceased to vultures) a pair of scissors were discovered in her body.

Sometime in August 1994, Pasang, 23, went to the People's Hospital in Lhasa to give birth. A doctor reportedly told Pasang's mother that because the expectant mother was too weak and the child too big, delivery was impossible without operating. After about three hours the doctor announced to the mother that Pasang died due to hypertension. While preparing for sky burial, the family instructed the 'tobden' (men who dispose bodies) to find out the cause of death. The 'tobden' reported to the family that the heart, liver and womb of the deceased were quite clearly missing. On hearing this, Pasang's family reportedly took the matter to court. To date there is no report of the judicial fate of this case.

6.2.c.ii. Medical neglect in Chinese prisons

MANY former Tibetan women political prisoners have reported suffering injuries due to beatings and illness from the generally poor conditions in prison. Injuries sustained include broken ribs, partial deafness, broken arms, chronic headaches and nausea. When women are sexually violated with electric cattle prods, the consequences for women can be severe both in the short and long term. A report jointly issued by LawAsia and TIN in 1991, stated that: "reports consistently suggest that medical care in the prisons is inadequate, limited to very basic first aid for what are sometimes serious injuries or illnesses. "When a doctor was allowed to visit", said a forty-two-year old man who spent nine months at Gurtsa in 1988, "one or two tablets were given. They said we were reactionaries, that we were enemies of the people and deserved no treatment".

6.2.c.iii. Threats to women's health due to life-threatening toxic materials, environmental hazards

DURING the 1960s and 1970s, nuclear waste from the "Ninth Academy", China's primary nuclear weapons research and design facility site on the Tibetan Plateau in Haibei Province, was disposed of in a haphazard and unregulated way, posing enormous danger to those who lived nearby. Reports from areas of Amdo describe the mysterious pollution of land and water and widespread human and animal deaths. In Jampakok and Kharkok, over fifty Tibetans have died inexplicably since 1987 after being affected by severe fever, vomiting and dysentery. Significantly large numbers of deformed births are also reported from areas around Qinghai in Amdo and Nagchu in U-Tsang.

Nuclear dumping poses a serious threat to human life and ecological environment. Child-bearing women and children are specially susceptible. The effects of nuclear dumping range from mild sickness to death and deformity at birth. At the time, when the international community is making all efforts in creating and maintaining a clean environment, China is conveniently dumping its nuclear wastes in Tibet without the least care for its ill effects on life and environment in Tibet.

A high proportion of Tibetan villagers living near the mine in Ngaba Prefecture have reportedly died after drinking water polluted by waste by the uranium mines, according to information gathered by the London-based Tibet Information Network. In the past three years at least thirty five of the approximately 500 people in the village have died within a few hours of developing fever, followed by a distinctive form of diarrhea; six victims died within three days of each other. There have reportedly not been such deaths in the villages located farther away from the mines, a villager said.

The most likely sites for such dumps are in the northern plateau of Chang Thang, where large areas have been closed off by the Chinese army, and near Nyakchuka where China has set up a nuclear test facility. The method of storage is not known, although surface storage is suspected since China has no proper underground storage facility.

6.2.d. Tibetan women and unemployment

THE increased economic activity in Tibet has not substantially increased employment opportunities for Tibetans. To the contrary, Chinese workers are encouraged, via a system of incentives such as attractive subsidies, relaxation of the one-child policy, and higher wages to come to Tibet to work on development projects. These workers are comprised not only of technicians and specialized personnel, but include unskilled laborers. As a consequence, unemployment is becoming endemic amongst Tibetans, especially for Tibetan women who face double discrimination.


ONE. Women refugees in flight: A perilous journey

TWO. Economic displacement and women in exile
  1. Employment
  2. Primary employment
  3. Secondary employment
  4. Affirmative action in exile
  5. Education
  6. School enrollment ratio
  7. School graduates
  8. Further education/technical education
  9. Health
THREE. Power sharing and decision making

Recommendations for the Draft Platform for Action

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