By Lobsang Wangyal
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 8 March 2018
Celebrating the achievements and highlighting the struggles of millions of women around the world, the Tibetan Women’s Association marked International Women’s Day with a call to action to bring gender parity in the community.
“Gender inequality and the struggle for the rights of women are global phenomena, and marginalisation of women is certainly not a new issue. These all are preventing women from moving on in life, having the constant challenges and insecurities based on gender inequality,” said Dolma Yangchen, President of Tibetan Women’s Association.
She also said that the Tibetan women in Tibet suffer even more due to the lack of basic human rights under the repressive Chinese rule. “They suffer more, unlike the rest of us living in free countries.”
She explained that inside Tibet women are subjected to forced birth control, sterilization, and abortion without their consent. They are kidnapped and forced into prostitution. The women in Tibet have none of the rights and freedoms that are taken for granted in exile, and so it is even more important that women with these opportunities use them to make a difference.
The Wikipedia page for International Women’s Day says that the first observance of a Women’s Day was held in New York in 1909, but 8 March was suggested by the 1910 International Woman’s Conference to become an “International Woman’s Day” with the idea as a strategy to promote equal rights, including suffrage, for women.