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Development

Social Status of Tibetan Women Improved

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 03/03/09; March 9, 2003.]

(Beijing Time) Sunday, March 09, 2003

The social status of Tibetan women has greatly improved since the peaceful liberation of the region over 50 years ago, according to the statistics released Saturday by the government of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

Over the past five decades, the government has made painstakingefforts to upgrade women's living conditions and safeguard their political, economic and cultural rights, said government officials.

Statistics show that eight percent of all the leaders of the TAR government are women, and approximately 30 percent of government officials at all levels are women. Before liberation, Tibetan women, considered to belong to a lower class, were deprived of all political rights.

Special attention was focused on women's health, education and economic status, government officials said. Over 600 medical centers have been established in all counties and villages, providing health care to 545,000 women and children.

In schools, 43 percent of students are girls and the illiteracyrate among women has fallen dramatically since 1995. By 2001, 85.6percent of girls of school age were attending school, up 18.2 percentage points from 1990.

The government has made a total investment of over two million yuan (240,000 US dollars) in the projects of drinkable water supplies in 22 villages to extricate housewives from the hardship of carrying water. Traditionally, women in Tibet had the responsibility of fetching and carrying water for daily use.

Since the founding of People's Republic of China in 1949, the TAR government has issued long-term blueprints to improve women's status in line with the comprehensive development of Tibetan society.


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