|Discourse of Cangjue,Deputy Director at Editorial Office for Publications of Tibet Autonomous Region|
The population of Tibet Autonomous Region in 2008 was 2.8 million, including 1.38 million women, rating 49.7 percent. Serving as the backbone in various industries, women in the autonomous region are holding up half of the sky in the economic and social development. Women cadres account for 36 percent in the leadership groups of the county-level governments in agriculture and pasturing areas; in 2008, a total of 82.42 percent of the county-level governments had women cadres; in Shigatse region, the three counties of Gyangtse, Bainang and Khangma are currently headed by women; 83.57 percent of the grassroots women’s congresses are included into villagers’ committees or residents’ committees, according to incomplete statistics; the grassroots women’s federations are being improved gradually to help Tibetan women in difficulties.
Tibetan women actively involve in economic construction and participate in economic development in various sectors of national economic and social development, becoming an important force in productivity development in Tibet. The percentage of women labors in agriculture and pasturing areas exceeds 65 percent of the total, serving as the major force supporting economic development in agriculture and pasturing areas; agriculture and livestock farming production value created by women accounts for more than half of the total.
The employment of women in Tibet also goes up constantly with the employment level keeping rising. Tibet has women experts, women judges, women doctors, women lawyers, women entrepreneurs, women leaders in the process of becoming rich and famous women mountaineers. These women include the first Tibetan woman professor Ciyang, the first woman lawyer Yangjin, the first woman doctorate holder Zhuoga, the first woman mountaineer Jiapan and famous songstress Caidan Zhuoma, etc.
Women have made important contribution to industrial development in Tibet, especially the development of handicraft industry of Tibetan ethnic group.
Kadians are a kind of daily necessities for Tibetan people, as well as the exquisite craftwork with a history of more than 600 years in Tibet. There is a Kadian factory in Zedang Town, Naidong County, which is quite well-known in Tibet. The director Deji Quzhen and deputy director Ciren Qiongda are two sisters. In 1986 when they took charge of the factory, it was in the brink of bankruptcy because of improper operation. The two sisters reformed the ways of operation and management. In 1990, they asked for a loan of 500,000 yuan from the autonomous region government to expand the factory. They worked very hard to seek markets. Currently, the Kadians produced by the factory are not only welcomed in various regions in Tibet, but also exported to places such as Nepal, Germany and the United States.
With the development of commodity-based economy in Tibet and the expansion of markets, an increasing number of Tibetan women are involved in commercial operation. The deputy director of the Supply and Marketing Cooperative of Yadong County is a woman called Cangjue. She has been in charge of business operation since 1983. "In the past, Tibetan women could not even look at men straight in the face. But now, women can also achieve success in the work like men," she said.
Barkhor Street in Lhasa is the necessary place for domestic and foreign tourists and palmers in Tibet. Many stores and stalls stand one by one on the both sides of the circumambulation road of nearly 600 meters long around the Jokhang Temple. Many articles for daily use and artwork with Tibetan flavor and articles for palmers attract many visitors. Many sagacious Tibetan women have found the market. Baima has been operating a store in Barkhor Street for eight years. She sells commodities with Tibetan features of various kinds. Meanwhile, she goes to Zhangmu Port twice a year to purchase exotic commodities from Southeast Asian countries. Her store is full of various commodities. Her business is becoming increasingly prosperous.
Business operation also expands the scope of economic activities of Tibetan women. Women in urban areas explore markets in agriculture and pasturing areas and women in agriculture and pasturing areas also seek markets in urban areas. The exchanges of commodities between rural and urban areas not only activate the markets, but also provide trainings to a general of Tibetan women of business operation. Business woman Cangmula in Chengguan District of Lhasa goes to big cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hangzhou to purchase goods and has established commercial ties with these big cities. Her business has grown from several thousands yuan to several hundreds of thousands yuan.
Statistics show that of the 4,937 individual business people in Chengguan District of Lhasa, Tibetan women account for 55.1 percent. In addition, Tibetan business women can be seen in many other places such as Shigaze, Zhangmu Port, Nyingchi and Naqu. Tibetan women even participate in international business negotiation in Tibet. Renqian Quzhen is an interpreter in the Foreign Trade Department of Tibet Autonomous Region. Graduated from the Social and Sci-Tech College of Vancouver University in Canada with excellent marks, she refused three Canadian companies that wanted to recruit her with high salary and came back to Tibet. During these years, she successfully completed interpretation work in a series of important negotiations related to foreign trade.
Tibet spent only more than 30 years to turn its agriculture from the primitive stage of slash-and-burn cultivation to modern production. Today, the program of boosting agriculture with sciences and technologies has entered herdswomen and farmers’ families, enabling an increasing number of Tibetan women to embark on the road of developing agriculture through scientific and technological manners. Anzi is a famous master hand of farming and a seed breeding expert known throughout Luozha County. After completing the training course of agricultural technology in Naidong County in early 1970s, she breeds 2,000-2,500 kg of fine seed varieties for her production team every year.
Thanks to the scientific ways of farming and livestock raising, Ciren Baimu of Qiongda Town of Dazi County achieves good harvests for successive years. She bought a tractor for transportation business and can earn nearly 10,000 yuan a year. Now, Ciren Baimu is the deputy head of Qiongda Town. She didn’t forget to help those with financial difficulties out of poverty after she became rich. Deqing’s husband died a long time ago and she has to support four minors. Ciren Baimu often helps her do farm work. One of Deqing’s children got an acute disease one day and Ciren Baimu sent the child to a hospital in Lhasa 80 km away with her tractor.
Cangjue Zhuoma is an outstanding woman technician. In 1988, she was transferred to Tibet Plateau Biology Research Institute under the Science and Technology Commission of Tibet Autonomous Region to research resources of wild animals. She participated in all the field surveys organized by the institute. Owing to the adverse atmosphere and shortage of water resources in the north part of Qiangtang Grassland, the survey group often encounters fierce wind and storms or loses direction during the surveys. The institute has organized four surveys on wild animals on Qiangtang Plateau, totally recording 30,000 wild plateau animals, including 28,300 mammals under the state first-level protection. The 260,000-square-km Qiangtang Plateau witnessed the strong will of Cangjue Zhuoma. She wrote "Ecological Research on the Life of Black-Necked Crane in Winter in Tibet" with her tutor Gu Binyuan, "Research on the Wild Hoofed Animals in Qiangtang Region in Summer" with Guo Gangjun and "Summary of Pengbo County Natural Reserve, a Place for Black-Necked Cranes in Linzhou County of Tibet to Live Through Winters" independently, providing important scientific basis for researching and protecting precious wild animals on Tibet plateau. In late 1993, the Tibet Plateau Biology Research Institute Cangjue Zhuoma works for and the wildlife protection department of New York Zoological Society jointly finished the "Research on Precious Mammal in Qiangtang Plateau in Tibet", which was awarded the first prize in the fifth Science Progress Program of Tibet Autonomous Region. Eleven Chinese and American scientific researches including Cangjue Zhouma and her tutor Gu Binyuan were awarded the first prize.
Zhuoga is the first doctorate holder in Tibet and is now working in the Meteorological Administration of Tibet Autonomous Region. Her thesis for doctor degree "Research on the Formation and Development of Convective Cloud Clusters Above Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Their Influences After Moving Eastward" diagnoses and analyzes the formation and development of convective system above Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in summer and conducts numerical simulations on the process of the development and moving process of convective system above the Plateau through meso-scale model with comparative higher time-space resolution, providing scientific basis for the systematic research on the convective system above Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Currently, the number of Tibetan Women with high-level professional titles accounts for more than 18 percent of the total number of the people with high-level professional titles.
The above-mentioned women are only some examples. Now, the vast Tibetan women are enjoying the rights in various aspects such as participating in management of social affairs and economic development. They are playing irreplaceable roles in the whole process of social and economic development and are fully enjoying the fruits brought by social development and progress.