Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Women’s resistance in occupied Tibet
(by Annerose Reiche)

Tibet is one of many places on this globe where human rights are broken in the most extreme way. Since it was illegally annexed by China in 1950 this unique culture is falling and fundamental human rights are continually being broken.

International society occasionally attempts to force China to change their politic, but their efforts are not sufficient enough to force any real and lasting change. A particular concern of this dreadful situation is the treatment of women by the Chinese authority.

In 1979 China introduced regulations concerning birth, which included such laws as the necessity of sterilisation and in many cases unbelievably dangerous and cruel abortions. Chinese law allowed Tibetan women in villages aged between 25 and 35 years old to give birth to two children, and those in towns were allowed to only give birth once. These laws were further enforced when in 1984 a new policy was introduced which allowed women to have a maximum of two children.

Abortions are also made to women in 9th month of pregnancy! In such cases injections are made to the mother’s abdomen, which, may be done by inserting an electric device into the womb through the vagina. One of remedies used for abortion is IUD-92, which often causes infections and other serious health problems.

Additionally, perhaps the most inhumane method practiced on Tibetan women is the so called „cut & bind”, which means cutting oviducts and than binding them. Don’t even try to visualise this. In hospitals where these „operations” are carried out the women’s life is in constant risk, for instance, most often the only way of sterilising medical tools is by cleaning them in hot water. This is even more truer of women who are unable to get to hospitals where little if any medical care is provided which usually results in serious consequences for the patient.

Moreover, the Chinese occupiers have a penalty system, which penalises women for breaking these various ‘birth laws’. First of all „over the limit pregnancies” are punished with high fines. The children who are „over the limit” and survive are exempt from any basic social rights like registry, education and health service. A terrifying statistic of this horrendous situation is that according to reports from an independent source during last 20 year about 15 million female featus were killed in China.

Tibet (“The Tibet Autonomus Region” – TAR) is a very religious country and religion is something positive which is used to protect its culture and nationality. Lots of women dedicate themselves to becoming Buddhist nuns, in many cases due to political reasons. By choosing this role women gain respect within the Tibetan society.

Tibetan women are those who command our respect for their attendance in their country’s fight for freedom.

According to report “Tibet Justice Centre” during the Chinese aggression women formed the first front line resistance. They in fact organised a rebellion against China in 1959. As The Government of Tibet in Exile says, „in 1969 nun Nyemo organised rebellion on such big scale that it spread through eighteen provinces and even Lhasa was threatened”.

Nuns arrested in such political protests are kept in prison for many years, including terms in prison for hard work. Conditions for them are extremely hard; tortures like burning with cigarette, striking with electric stick to the most sensitive body parts are part of daily life. Rape of female prisoners is also a regular occurrence. The most famous prisons for this kind of horrible practices are Drapchi prison in Lhasa and Gutsa.

According to some of the latest information twenty four Tibetan women are in Lhasa prison sentenced by a court for political activity. Taking part in „free Tibet” demonstration cost some of them 9 years in slavery. Other harsh punishments are 5 years for writing a „free-Tibet” slogan.

The majority of women who are kept in prison are very young with the average age of 23. The price they pay for being so dedicated to their country’s freedom is the highest possible.

On 4th of October 1988 China ratified convention against tortures, which was signed on 12th of December 1986. Chinese representation announced United Nations in 1988 that all obligations are acquitted. Since ratification lots of people died from being tortured or were killed during demonstrations or just couldn’t stand the repressions and killed themselves (in China about 250 thousand people commit suicide yearly, most of them are women). In 1993 and 1996 United Nations’ Committee against Tortures asked China to establish rules stating independent judicature and forbidding tortures.

Until, May 1996 China did not recognise the definition of tortures. In October 1998 China signed International Pact of Civil and Political Rights. In fact China signed all necessary documents for United Nations concerning human rights but for now they still have to comply with them.

People from all over the world (by organisations like „Students for free Tibet”) appeal to international organisations and governments for justice for the Tibetan people, but realy has any campaigns been effective. Few prisoners were released for „good behaviour” by the Chinese government.

The most important thing right now is that people keep fighting for human rights in Tibet and that we must never let this situation become obscured and forgotten by other problems in the world right now.

Latest news:

* Ngalang Sangdrol which was put to prison for political reasons as the youngest (15 year old girl, now 24 years old nun) and the longest imprisoned Tibetan women in 2002 was released!

* In may 2003 China gave Tibet 64 modern well equipped cars which are planned as mobile clinics to help in „planning families”, giving contraception (Xinhuanet, 5 May 2003). Refugees say that in fact they are something different. Compulsory abortions and sterilisations are made there.


Havnevik Hanna, Rola mniszek we wspó*czesnym Tybecie, non ed.

*ozi*ski Krzysztof, Piek*o *rodka: Chiny a prawa cz*owieka, Danzig 2000.

Sanocki Adam, Przemoc wobec kobiet w Tybecie, non ed.

Tybet. Czas *elaznych ptaków, HFPC, Warsaw 2002.

Tybet. Od Lito*ciwej Ma*py po Trójnóg Narodowej Jedno*ci, HFPC, Warsaw 2001.

Tybet. Stare duchy nowe duchy, HFPC, Warsaw 2000.

Tybet. *wiadkowie. Fakty mówi* za siebie, PSPT, Warsaw 1993.






The Tibetan Women's

An Introduction to the Tibetan Women's Assocation - Its aims and objectives and projects.

A State-Owned Womb - Violations of Tibetan Women's Reproductive Rights

A Report by The Tibetan Women's Association, Central Executive Committee, Dharamsala

National Report - Tibetan Women Oppression and Discrimination in occupied Tibet

THE Women's Desk at the Tibetan Government-in-Exile has compiled this report to highlight the particular concerns of Tibetan women inside Tibet and those living as refugees in exile. This report also includes a list of recommendations which, it is hoped, will serve as inputs to the discussions for the Draft Platform.

Tears of Silence: Tibetan Women and Population Control

A Report by The Tibetan Women's Association, Dharamsala, May, 1995

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