Speaking to a delegation of 75 women from New Delhi at his official residence in Dharamsala, northern India, on 18 February, His Holiness explained that if more women took up leadership roles in fields such as politics it could have a positive impact on a global scale. He cited as an example former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, the first woman in the history of modern India to hold the post.
“We are now in the 21st century. If we look back at the 20th century, it was a time of violence and fear. Therefore, we should make this century an era of non-violence and compassion,” said the Tibetan spiritual leader. “With regard to compassion, there is scientific evidence that women are more sensitive to others’ pain. Indeed in human history most warriors, or killers, were men, whereas women consistently show more concern for others’ well-being. In this century we should make special efforts to promote loving-kindness and women should take a leading role in this. They shouldn’t just stay at home, but should support and be actively involved with education.”