Volume : 3, Issue : 3, SEP 2019

GESHEMA: A MILESTONE EXAMPLE OF WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT IN TIBETAN BUDDHISM

Dr. Norbu Gyaltsen Negi

Abstract

Mostly after the IInd world war things has been changed rapidly in many way. The system of ruling and domination shifted into the democracy, demand of human rights, movements of social justice, political, economic and social equality, and differences between sexes are raised on the different stage of the world.

So, far the Tibet and entire Trans-Himalayan regions practice the equality between man and women more or less from earlier, but when we look into the past, equality of education between the monks and nuns were found dissimilar. Of course, the reason behind case is lack of Bhikkhuni ordination in Tibet and entire Himalayan region. Due to the Bhikkhuni ordination Tibetan nuns were deprived from Geshema degree and other relevant issues. We can see the percentage of women were also very low in the education field.

Tibetan women especially by the nuns have raised their voice for the degree of ‘Geshema’ in the last seven decades. Their demand of ‘Geshema’ was genuine because on other hand monks are not only getting the opportunity to pursue the higher education even they are privilege to acquire the degree of ‘Geshe’ since 17th century onwards. Finally, Tibetan nuns are getting the degree of ‘Geshema’ since the year 2011. Due to the continuous blessings, kindness and compassion of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, it needs to be bestow the Geshema’s degree earlier to the nuns without demanding.  

Keywords

Tibet, Bhikkhuni, Geshema, Geshe, Monks, Nun, Bhikkhuni ordination.

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