The Women’s Empowerment Desk (WED) aims to ensure gender perspectives are incorporated in the design, implementation and monitoring of all of CTA’s program activities. It works to ensure women and men participate in and benefit equally and strengthen CTA capacity to address key issues facing Tibetan women and girls. The latter include gender stereotypes and social attitudes to- ward the role of women in society, workplace, and home; low participation of women, and limited incorporation of women’s perspectives in public decision making; poor community awareness and education about issues of gender equality, sexuality, sexual health and sexual and gender based violence.
A major responsibility of WED is to ensure that the revised Tibetan Women’s Empowerment Policy announced on February 2, 2017 is implemented to the fullest extent possible. The revised seven-point women’s empowerment policy outlines seven key points in its stated objective of making Tibetan women equal partners in all aspects of Tibetan society. The points include Women and Human Rights, Education, Health, Economy, Governance and Leadership, Social, and Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV). On Sexual and Gender- based Violence, the Kashag has promised to adopt a zero tolerance policy. It further promised to sensitise community members on SGBV and establish a redressal mechanism for those who have experienced gender based harassment and discrimination.
At the first ever CTA-organised Tibetan Women’s Empowerment Conference in Dharamsala on 21st February 2017, the 340 participants submitted many good recommendations on the effective implementation of the clauses of the revised Tibetan women’s empowerment policy. The WED team under the guidance of an advisory committee established by the Kashag is in the process of implementing as many of the recommendations as possible.