December 31st, 2014
The weeklong leadership program titled ‘Advanced Tibetan Women’s Leadership Training’ (ATWLT), the 5th in the series, concluded today at the India Habitat Centre. A panel discussion titled ‘HeforShe-Role of Men in Empowering Women,’ marked the culmination of the training organized by Tibetan Women’s Association. 27 Tibetan women from across India converged in the Indian capital from December 25 to 31 for 7 days of ‘identifying, inculcating and implementing leadership skills.’
TWA had the honor of three esteem panelists on the final day panel discussion: Honorable Sheila Dikshit, former chief minister of India’s capital New Delhi; Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar, former minister and current Member of Parliament and Ms. Karuna Nundy, senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India. The panel discussion was attended by more than 50 people and it was moderated by Nyima Lhamo, the General Secretary of the TWA. The 2-hour discussion focused on keeping the momentum going and to ensure that men stay just as outraged at the inequalities faced by women and also to guarantee that the passion in men to empower women and their desire to create a fair and just society for both men and women.
The honorable Sheila Dikshit, former Chief Minister of Delhi from 1998 to 2013, spoke on the tremendous contribution women make on a daily basis. She said, “75% of all work in the world are done by women”, but more often than not, women get taken for granted. She expressed concerns on how women don’t get the credit they deserve, and the respect men should give them. Mrs.Dikshit rejected the practice of referring to women as the weaker sex. It is just that women currently do not have the opportunity to realize their full potential. But it is also clear that in all the fields where women have exercised their abilities, they have proved themselves. So, with the right environment, where the He’s of the world create space and opportunities for the She’s of the world, there can definitely be a fair society for both men and women.
Advocate Karuna Nundy said it is time to lead now and stop the culture of complicity with the system of patriarchy. It is time to reject the system of thought that privileges men. In the current world, Ms. Nundy argued, “my rights and your rights are tied in together”. Its important to struggle for our rights, because rights are never handed to the oppressed on a platter. She said having a daughter is the biggest indicator of whether a man is a feminist. In the legal world, Ms. Nundy said, it’s now time to create systems of incentives and penalties to really make a sustaining difference in sensitizing police and judges to gender issues. She also said that patriachal system should be rejected completely brcause it not only oppresses women, but it also suppresses the compassionate and sensitive side of men.
Shri. Mani Shankar Aiyar reflected on how the He’s in positions of power and are dominating the society. So, unless the He’s created space for the She’s to exercise their power, women will never be able to take on leadership positions. He credited the 33% reservation for women in India for creating a platform that has allowed 13-15 lakh women to be elected to local offices. He said, more women hold elected offices in India than rest of the world put together. He said that with appropriate training and education, all women could be just as effective as men. He also argued that women tend to be less corrupt compared to men and they tend to focus more on social welfare issues
Three professional trainers: Mr. Benjamin David from Breakthrough India, New Delhi; Mr. Tarandeep Rekhi, a senior consultant from Holistic Training Solution and Ms. Tenzin Palkyi from National Endownment for Democracy led the training. The program covered areas such as action-centered leadership, team building and effective public speaking skills. The outbound training included field visit, covering stories in real-life settings as citizen journalists and lobbying Indian leaders.
As a part of the training, on December 26, the trainees staged a lobby campaign that was successful in getting Indian leaders, influential leaders include: Honorable Maneka Gandhi, Ministry of Women and Child Development.
“I learned to be more responsible and will try my best to implement the skills learned to better myself and the Tibetan community”. Tenzin Nyima, Service, Dharamsala
“Life is about moving out of comfort zones, and I learned alot of real life lessons. This training will be my take away of year 2014”. Tenzin Seldon, Student, Delhi University
“This training is a complete leadership package”. Tenzin Samten, Corporate Sector, Chennai.
“I got to live another student like life through this training. Its a great learning opportunity and I will always compare and compete with myself in life”. Tenzin Choedon, Teacher, Dharamsala
The Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) is the second largest Tibetan Non Governmental Organization (NGO) based in exile India and the only Women’s NGO in Tibetan history. We are today a 17,000 member organization with 56 chapters in four continents- Asia, US. Europe and Australia. TWA’s slogan is ‘Advocacy for Home, Action in Exile.’
Tashi Dolma, President, TWA: 9882417181
Nyima Lhamo, General Secretary and the training coordinator, TWA: 9882502821/ 9910892651
Attached are two selected photos from today’s panel discussion. The attachments are authentic and verifiable.