UN committee demands China’s answers on discrimination against Tibetan women in Tibet
16 May, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has questioned China on the situation of Tibetan women in Tibet.
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has questioned China on the situation of Tibetan women in Tibet, according to Tibet Rights Collective.
The Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which is in charge of overseeing the Convention’s implementation, is particularly concerned with the rights and well-being of Tibetan women. CEDAW members recently focused on China’s treatment of Tibetan women and sought clarification on a number of issues.
According to Tibet Rights Collective, the majority of the committee’s inquiries focused on gender equality, healthcare and educational access, political engagement, and the protection of religious and cultural rights for Tibetan women living in Tibet.
On May 8, 2023, the Tibet Bureau and the Tibetan Women’s Association issued a joint statement about the plight of Tibetan women in Tibet at a UN public briefing. The briefing’s goal was to examine China’s implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The briefing was held as part of the 85th session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CEDAW).
Representative Thinlay Chukki attended the meeting and provided an overview of the situation in Tibet for Tibetan women living under Chinese rule. At the meeting, she was joined by UN Advocacy Officer Kalden Tsomo and Tenzing Dolma, President of the Tibetan Women’s Association (Central).
Tibet has drawn international attention due to allegations of discrimination against its Tibetan population and violations of human rights. According to Tibet Rights Collective, the CEDAW committee’s inquiries were primarily intended to shed light on the difficulties faced by Tibetan women and assess the success of China’s efforts to resolve these issues.
Concerns about Tibetan Women
The committee expressed concern about reports of gender-based violence, women’s limited access to healthcare and education, their economic options, and their struggle with cultural integration. The Chinese delegation was questioned about the steps they had taken to address these issues, ensure equality, and defend Tibetan women’s rights.
China acknowledged the questions, and its representative assured the committee that it was committed to advancing gender equality and improving the situation of Tibetan women. According to the delegation, a number of laws and initiatives have been put in place to strengthen women’s rights and give them more power in Tibetan society.
According to Tibet Rights Collective, they emphasised their efforts to address the issues raised by emphasising programmes in the areas of education, healthcare, poverty alleviation, and employment opportunities.
The CEDAW committee will now review China’s comments, as well as the data presented during the session. The committee’s evaluation will help shape its final conclusions and recommendations, which it will share with China in order to direct future efforts to advance gender equality and protect Tibetan women’s rights.
This development demonstrates how the international community cares about Tibetan women’s rights and well-being. The participation of the CEDAW committee demonstrates its commitment to upholding nations’ obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and ensuring the protection and respect for women’s rights in Tibet.
According to Tibet Rights Collective, the UN and other relevant parties may have more conversations and take additional actions as the situation develops to address the difficulties faced by Tibetan women and work towards a more inclusive and equitable society in Tibet.