This is People's Daily Tonight.
New era for China's female deputies
(Photo: The Mirror)
Ma Huijuan believes there are three reasons why she is a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) today.
First, the overall status of women in China is rising. Then, the national poverty relief project helped her move from an arid mountainous village in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region to a richer place by the Yellow River. Finally, technology enabled her to write on her cellphone and publish her work online.
A middle-school graduate in her 30s, Ma Huijuan transformed her own life as a farmer into that of an author and a national lawmaker through writing on her phone for six years, telling the story of Hui women like herself from northwest China.
With International Women's Day on March 8, she is excited to be one of China's 742 female deputies to the 13th NPC and grateful to the new era which has given women more say in state policy.
Ma Huijuan(Photo: Xinhua)
Ma Huijuan will present proposals on protecting traditional rural culture and folk art.
Becoming a deputy is an honor as well as an obligation. She said the position gave them a chance to make changes and they should use this opportunity well. She will keep herself up-to-date and make her proposals after a thorough investigation.
The female role will rise in Chinese politics. The ongoing session of the 13th National People's Congress has the highest ever number of female deputies, 24.9 percent, up 1.5 percentage point from the previous congress.
NPC deputies are members of the highest organ of state power in China and are elected by secret ballot at people's congresses of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, held ahead of the NPC.
Among a number of high-profile female NPC deputies is astronaut Wang Yaping.
She said after she came back from her space mission, she received letters from many children who said they wished to become astronauts as well. It made her feel proud and happy," she said.
Shen Jilan, 89 years old, who served all previous 12 terms of the NPC, has secured her position as one of the world's most venerable political figures by becoming a deputy to the 13th NPC.
Zhang Changning(Photo: VCG)
Volleyball player, Zhang Changning, 22 years old, feels honored. She said she would use the valuable experience to learn and fulfill her obligations.
Women's participation in politics still faces many challenges but Chinese women's status has improved significantly over the last century.
Ma Huijuan said she felt lucky to live in this era.
And that's People's Daily Tonight. Thanks for joining us.
(Produced by Han Xiaomeng, Liang Peiyu)