The Tibetan Women’s Association based in Dharamsala, north India organized a ‘Training of Trainers’ program on Legal Empowerment of Tibetan Women in Exile for five days which began on August 3, 2014. Fifty eight participants from India representing a cross-section of the exile population are participating in the five-day training.
Tashi Dolma, President of Tibetan Women's Association said, 'The training will cover vital areas such as-the practical aspects of understanding gender, patriarchy, gender socialization, tackling dilemmas and stereotypes, breaking the silence and the cycle, strategic communication-good practices and innovative tools, combating gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual violence, step by step guide to unapologetic walking, collectively defining sexual violence via mind mapping, building and sharing testimonies amongst group, evidence wall and insight generation, taking safe community pledge, and action for equality, empowerment and development.'
Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Penpa Tsering highlighted the situation of exile women's status in comparison to other societies and said, 'its important from the female side to take part in every opportunity available, as well as to support each other to empower women as a whole.' He recalled the incident of child abuse in a Tibetan school and added that these legal workshops are equally important for the men as well.
Kamla Bhasin, an Indian feminist shared her experience and knowledge on women's status in India and western countries in the 17th and 18th century. She said that it is important to connect with local women associations to integrate the power. Six male participants of the workshop shared their expectations out of attending the empowerment training.
The participants also had a discussion on the topic of gender with His Eminence Karmapa yesterday. Lobsang Sangay, head of the Tibetan administration in exile, Tenzin Dhardon Sharling, Member of the Tibetan Parliament, Karma D Khortsa, Advocate and Jasmin Pathera, an activist will be speaking to the participants in the following days.