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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

TWA at international conferences on Women's rights

January 30, 2010

Phayul
January 28, 2010

Dharamsala, January 28 -- Two representatives
from the Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA)
attended two conferences in Bangkok last week.
The 1st International Congress on Women’s Health
and Unsafe Abortion (ICWHUA) held in Bangkok,
from 20th to the 23rd of January 2010, and was
attended by 170 delegates from 41 countries and
organised by the Women’s Health and Reproductive
Rights Foundation of Thailand (WHRRF).

The Conference was opened by the Prime Minister
of Thailand, Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, signifying
the importance of the event to provide the latest
information about women’s health and unsafe abortions.

Prior to the ICWHUA conference, TWA members
alongside 52 women’s organizations from 27
countries from the Asia Pacific region attended
the Asia-pacific Regional Consultation Meeting
(RCM) of Women’s Global Network for Reproductive
Rights (WGNRR) held in Bangkok from the 17th to
the 19th of January 2010. The members gathered to
reaffirm their support for the realisation of
reproductive rights for all women and in
particular for women under repressive regimes
such as the women of Tibet. The Vice President of
TWA, Samten Chodon stated "A women’s body is her
right and she has the right whether to or not to
reproduce, a state cannot interfere in this regard."

The RCM of WGNRR was earlier scheduled to be held
in Beijing, China in October 2009, in conjunction
with the 5th Asia and Pacific Conference on
Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights”
(APCRSHR) organized by the National Population
and Family Planning Commission’s (NPFPC) of
People’s Republic of China. But the NPFPC’s
refusal to accord TWA with an invitation letter
compelled WGNRR to postpone the RCM and
reschedule it to align with the ICWHUA (January, Bangkok).

The 52 members of the Asia-Pacific Network of
WGNRR jointly declared that women’s rights are
not protected. Issues of conflict, sexual
violence and discrimination against minorities
are among the issues faced by women. This
includes China’s family planning policy that
enforces forced abortion on Tibetan women inside
of Tibet. The Coordinator of WGNRR, Kathy
Mulville, further reiterated that “there is a
lack of information, education and affordable
services, persistence of discriminatory social
norms and a rise in political and religious
fundamentalism," she further reminded the
participants that -- we the citizens are failing
to hold our governments to account, to stand up
and demand our reproductive rights”.

TWA is committed to advocating and campaigning
for the advancement of reproductive and sexual
health rights for all and holds a steadfast
commitment to represent the voice of Tibetan
women at International meetings such as the
International Congress on Women’s Health and
Unsafe Abortion. The Research and Media Officer
of TWA, Dhardon Sharling affirmed that they
attended the Women’s conference in Bangkok to
further the cause, to share experiences, build
knowledge and capacity and to raise TWA’s voice
for Tibetan women at such a significant international forum."
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