The Treasury of Lives

Women Initiative

Total Bios: 1,427 Total Bios of Women: 86 Percentage: 6%

Detail from painting of Machik Labdron showing Machik in a mediatative posture surrounded by followers.

The mission of The Treasury of Lives is to provide access to Tibetan history and religion through the life stories of all people from the region. However, with such a shockingly low number of biographies being of women, we recognize that a dedicated effort must be made to better balance the site. 


We are actively raising additional funds with the goal of publishing 100 biographies of women over three years. Please consider adding your name, or the name of a loved one, to this effort.


Donations will support writers and editors who will research and write essays on women from Tibetan cultural regions spanning the seventh through twentieth centuries. Peer-reviewed life stories of women will be complemented by associated reference data such as geographic records and dynamic maps, kinship information, timelines, and annotated art.


As a supporter of this effort, you will be recognized on our donor wall and we'll notify you when a new biography is published to the site.



Image detail from 18th century painting of Machik Labdron from the collection of the Rubin Museum of Art (P1998.21.5), HAR 717.

This is really important for the study of Tibetan Buddhism. A fair number of recent or current graduate students have projects on women in Tibetan history, and I think there will be new scholarship on this issue in coming years. Great idea, and thanks for getting it going!

—Janet Gyatso (Harvard University)


I am very happy to know that Treasury of Lives is working actively to include more stories of women in its already amazing repertoire of biographies. I am reminded of Myra Sadker’s quote, “Each time a girl opens a book and reads a womanless history, she learns she is worth less.” Therefore, I think it is an absolutely wonderful and necessary initiative to tell the stories of our women.

—Dagmo Kalden Sakya (Dehradun)