The World-Wide Web Virtual Library
Category Subtree ||
WWW VL database]
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
(email@example.com), is available on-line in two electronic
(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.
This report is also available from the
www.grannyg.bc.ca site in Canada.
Online ocuments and press releases pertaining the
participation of Tibetan women's delegation at the UN 4th World Conference on
Women, Beijing, China, 4-15 September 1995 are available from
Tibetan Women's Association.
(www.grannyg.bc.ca, Canada). For other current affairs materials see
Tibetan Current Affairs page at ANU, Australia.
Est.: 21 August 1995. Last updated: 13 October 1995. The document is a part of the Tibetan
Studies WWW Virtual Library.
National Report on Tibetan Women
This national report on Tibetan women is the first of its kind,
prepared by the Women's Issues Desk of the Department of
Information and International Relations, Tibetan Government-in-
Exile. The report documents the conditions of Tibetan women inside
occupied-Tibet as well as in exile. It touches upon the concerns of
Traditionally, Tibetan women enjoyed a higher social status than
their counterparts in many other societies. They also played an
active part in the affairs of family and society. Since the
occupation of Tibet by Chinese military forces, Tibetan women have
suffered oppression, exploitation, subjugation and discrimination.
Women in occupied-Tibet are the innocent victims of the policies of
a powerful force that seeks to completely wipe out the Tibetan
national identity. While the world debates the legitimacy and
morality of abortions, women in Tibet are subjected to involuntary
and forced abortions and sterilizations, designed to reduce the
growth of the Tibetan population as part of a larger strategy to
destroy Tibetan national and ethnic identity. Abortions and
sterilizations are conducted without adequate medical facilities or
in unhygienic conditions. Furthermore, Tibetan women suffer
disadvantage in areas of education, employment, health and
Tibetan women also played a leading role in the Tibetan national
movement and they continue to oppose the Chinese colonial rule in
Tibet as a result of which they are subjected to arbitrary arrests,
long prison sentences without trial, severe torture and abuse in
police custody. Many women prisoners of conscience, including
teenagers, have succumbed to death from severe torture in custody.
Tibetan women in exile also suffered as a result of displacement
and dislocation of normal life. However, in comparison with those
in Tibet, women in exile enjoyed equal opportunity in education and
job. They were given special consideration in political
representation to encourage greater role in public affairs.
We hope that this brief report on Tibetan women will give an
overall view of the status of women in Tibetan society and in
particular the true situation of women in occupied-Tibet. When the
women's conference is taking place in Beijing, it is important to
have a closer look at the actual situation of Tibetan women living
under Chinese occupation.
Department of Information and International Relations
Central Tibetan Administration
Peace, development and equality
Part 1 of 3
THE Women's Desk at the Tibetan Government-in-Exile's Department of
Information and International Relations has compiled this report to
highlight the particular concerns of Tibetan women inside Tibet and
those living as refugees in exile. In doing so, it is our hope that
the deplorable situation of Tibetan women under Chinese military
domination and exploitation will be taken into consideration whilst
the Draft Platform for Action is being discussed. This report also
includes a list of recommendations which, it is hoped, will serve
as inputs to the discussions for the Draft Platform.
Under the Chinese Communist regime, the Tibetan people have
suffered and continue to suffer inconceivable atrocities. Tibet and
the Tibetan people are victims of military occupation, human rights
abuse, and discrimination. Reports received from Tibet, including
reports from Amnesty International and other human rights groups,
testify to massive violation of human rights in Tibet.
Discrimination is cast large over the Chinese policy in Tibet.
Violence and torture are often used in silencing Tibetans. It is
against these larger problems of the Tibetan people that this
report concerning Tibetan women both inside occupied Tibet and in
exile must be seen.
Tibetan women suffer from two kinds of violations: those that are
shared by all Tibetans, regardless of gender; and those that are
specific to women.
As Tibetans, they are victims of occupation, arbitrary arrest,
torture, violation of freedom of speech and assembly, restrictions
on freedom of religion, and on freedom of travel. As women they are
subjected to forced birth control, abortions and sterilization
against their wishes or without informed consent. Tibetan women are
the victims of a coercive birth-control policy aimed at reducing
the Tibetan population in Tibet into an insignificant minority.
This is done on the one hand by increasing the number of Chinese
settlers inside Tibet and on the other hand by decreasing the
number of Tibetan inhabitants through birth-control policy. They
are arbitrarily arrested, detained and tortured in custody for
peaceful expression of their political beliefs. They suffer rape
and sexual violence while in police custody which sometimes results
in deaths. Three custodial deaths of Tibetan women have been
recorded in this year alone. Tibetan women are discriminated in the
field of education, employment, and health.
The Chinese occupation of Tibet has also placed Tibetan women in a
low socio-economic class, where before they were economically
stable. It is true that before the Chinese occupation of Tibet, the
position of women in Tibet was not one of equality. But compared to
most of our Asian neighbours, especially China, the position of
Tibetan women was considerably good if not one of equality. There
has been some improvement in the relative position of women in
Tibet in the past forty years, but progress has been much slower
than elsewhere in the world and definitely much slower than the
Tibetan community in exile
Tibetan women's access to education is limited: first, because the
medium of education is the Chinese language, and secondly, the
price of education in Tibet is very high. In fact, many women and
girls are escaping to India, to seek adequate education in exile.
Unemployment is also a problem as a large proportion of jobs and
small businesses are reserved for the Chinese settlers who are
given economic incentives to settle in Tibet to the disadvantage of
Tibetan Women also have to face many problems in the health care
system which is discriminatory. There have been reported cases of
medical abuse of pregnant women and inadequate medical facilities
and attention for women and girl prisoners of conscience. The
absence of adequate medical care has been the cause of several
reported deaths of women and girl political prisoners. Threats to
Tibetan women's health also exist due to health threatening toxic
materials and environmental hazards from the nuclear dumping and
testing that China conducts in certain areas of Tibet.
To tackle the issue of human rights violations suffered by Tibetan
women and all women, women all over the world need to come together
to chalk out strategic goals and their means of implementation.
There is much to be done in upgrading the status of women in the
developing countries and countries under foreign occupation. Tibet
is an occupied country and Tibetan women continue to suffer due to
TIBETAN WOMEN UNDER CHINESE OCCUPATION
ONE. The status of Tibet before 1959
TWO. The status of Tibetan women before the Chinese occupation
THREE. The status of Tibetan women under Chinese occupation
- Tibetan women: Impact of population transfer and military
FOUR. Occupation and its impact on the political rights of Tibetan girls and women
- China's lack of commitment to internationally-recognized standards of women's human rights
- Claims of the equality: Discrepancy between theory and practice
FIVE. Birth-control policy in Tibet: Physical violation of Tibetan women
SIX. Increasing poverty and its consequence on Tibetan women
- The persecution of Tibetan women for the exercise of their fundamental civil and political rights:
- Women prisoners of conscience
- Young girls as political prisoners: abuse of human rights
- Documented abuses of Tibetan girl prisoners
- Violations of Chinese law and international human rights law
- Violence against Tibetan women: Torture and sexual abuse of women activists and those in custody
- Death in custody
ONE. Women refugees in flight: A perilous journey
TWO. Economic displacement and women in exile
- An overview of the political-economic situation in Tibet
- Poverty and women
- Tibetan women and education
- Education before the Chinese invasion
- Education in Tibet today
- Tibetan women and health
- Pregnancy and medical abuse:
- Medical neglect in Chinese prisons
- Threats to women's health due to life-threatening toxic materials, environmental hazards
- Tibetan women and unemployment
THREE. Power sharing and decision making
- Primary employment
- Secondary employment
- Affirmative action in exile
- School enrollment ratio
- School graduates
- Further education/technical education
WHILE women all over the world suffer discrimination, violence and
other violations, the struggle they are voicing is largely one of
women's liberation. Tibet's own struggle embodies another element
- national survival, reversal of genocide, the fight to return to
our own occupied homeland.
Tibetan women are innocent victims of forced military occupation.
Inside Tibet, Tibetan women are discriminated as minorities,
tortured as prisoners of conscience, involuntarily subjected to the
Chinese policy of birth control, whereby pregnant women are aborted
and women of child-bearing age are sterilized under painful and
unhygienic conditions. Women in Tibet are the silent spectators of
cultural genocide which the Chinese policy of population transfer
is aimed at. Their views and thoughts could forever be ignored and
forgotten with the passage of time, for these women have lost their
right to freedom of speech and expression.
As refugees, Tibetan women are displaced people who cannot return
home for fear of persecution. Tibetan women refugees have had to
adapt to a new way of life and at the same time struggle to
maintain our culture and identity.
As a peace-loving people committed to "ahimsa" (non-violence), we
Tibetans do not take up arms. Our voices are our only weapons. We
raise our voices in exile for our sisters suffering in prisons in
Tibet, undergoing forced-abortion and sterilization, discriminated
against in health, education and employment opportunities. But our
voices are not enough. We need international support and consistent
international pressure on China so that Tibet is not silenced in
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE DRAFT PLATFORM FOR ACTION
- Tibetan women have suffered immensely under the Chinese
occupation. Many have been forced to flee their country so that
they can freely practice their culture without fear of persecution.
We urge actions to be taken which take into consideration the
plight of Tibetan women and to adopt strategies which will
eliminate the suffering of all Tibetan women and restore our basic
- We encourage delegates to pressurize countries such as China
to ensure respect for the right of all women to control their own
fertility and to be protected from unsafe and involuntary
- We recommend that strategies that seek to eliminate all forms
of repression, be they political, religious or cultural, that
exclude women from internationally-accepted norms of human rights
and make women targets of extreme violence be initiated at the
conference on behalf of Tibetan women.
- We urge that the Draft Platform for Action take into
consideration the perspectives of Tibetan women when discussing
strategies for increasing the participation of women in
peace-making processes. Without this input the platform for action
is in danger of becoming too narrowly focused.
- We encourage the participants to persuade the international
community to document military abuses against women so as to
promote peace in the world.
- We advocate the creation of social, economic, legal and
political conditions under which women's reproductive rights are
protected, including the right to freely decide the number and
spacing of their children and the eradication and condemnation of
all forms of coercion in reproductive health laws, policies and
- We encourage the conference to focus on the rights of the girl
child particularly those rights that protect the girl child from
being arbitrarily arrested, detained and tortured and that the UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child be considered when discussing
the rights of the girl child.
Back to Tibetan Studies WWW VL top page
This WWW server is provided by the www.ciolek.com,
Maintainer: Dr T.Matthew Ciolek (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Copyright © 1995 by the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. This Web page may be linked to any
other Web pages. Contents may not be altered.
[ Asian Studies WWW VL ]
[ Buddhist Studies WWW VL ]
[ Tibetan Studies WWW VL]