Women’s Empowerment Program
TWA runs a Women’s Empowerment Program (also known as ‘ETA’ or ‘Empowerment Through Action’) which seeks to empower an exiled society with the following classes:
1. Young Tibetan Women’s Leadership Training.
2. Gender Sensitization and Domestic Violence Training.
3. Nuns Leadership Training.
4. Democracy Training.
Our projects – vocational training programme Stitches of Tibet and our Sponsorship programme – also work to support and to empower women in the exile community.
Under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, education has become a primary focus and responsibility of Tibetans living in exile. The value of a literate and informed society is vital when it comes to Tibet’s struggle for freedom. Educational development is, therefore, a major concern of the Tibetan Women’s Association and all of its regional branch offices.
At present TWA provides scholarships for many Tibetan primary school children to attend secondary school. TWA also provides increasing number of sponsorships for students to pursue higher tertiary studies. In addition, TWA’s Fellowship for Women for Specialized Studies encourages Tibetan women with the required financial impetus to excel in their advanced studies. TWA hopes that these activities will encourage more students, particularly girls, to realize their full academic potential.
At the regional level TWA actively promotes community education in many Tibetan settlements. This includes basic English and Tibetan language literacy, as well as issues such as health care and the environment. TWA also provide basic health training and awareness to Tibetan women.
As a community we believe it is very important to encourage institutions which support women who wish to devote themselves to spiritual practices. A total of ten nunneries have been established in exile, with TWA assisting with the management and coordination of three. These nunneries function as comprehensive learning and spiritual centers for the preservation of a unique religious and cultural tradition.
In 1987, TWA launched the Tibetan Nuns Project in conjunction with the Department of Religion and Culture. The Tibetan Nuns Project assists many newly arrived nuns with shelter, food and clothing as well as with providing environments conducive to learning. Today the Tibetan Nuns Project is a completely independent and self-sustaining program. The vision and energy of the Tibetan Nuns Project has grown to accommodate over 500 nuns in exile. The TWA continues its strong relationship with the Tibetan Nuns Project by serving as a governing member of the program..