Entrusted by the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), officials from the Shanxi Women's Federation visited Shen Jilan(L), winner of the Medal of the Republic, in Xigou Village in Pingshun County in Northwest China's Shanxi Province on September 20.
Entrusted by the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), officials from the Shanxi Women's Federation visited Shen Jilan, winner of the Medal of the Republic, in Xigou Village in Pingshun County in Northwest China's Shanxi Province on September 20.
Shen Jilan is the only deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) who have attended 13 consecutive sessions of the NPC, China's top legislature.
Shen Jilan, who has been a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) since 1954, takes part in a discussion of the Third Session of the 12th NPC in Beijing on March 10, 2015. [Women of China/Fan Wenjun]
Zhang Bao, Secretary of the Leading Party Group and President of the Shanxi Women's Federation, congratulated Shen on the national honor and learned the details of her life and work. Shen thanked the ACWF and Shanxi Women's Federation for their concern and outlined the current situation of Xigou Village.
Zhang gave Shen two books about China's development in the past 70 years and role models in Shanxi Province. Shen was happy to see the great achievements that New China has made in the past 70 years.
"The dramatic changes, great achievements and people's happy lives we have today in China are created by countless predecessors like you. We should learn from you!" said Zhang and expressed thanks to Shen for her setting an example for women who are striving for dreams.
"The Party and the people have given me such a high honor, but I have not done enough. Even though I am in old age, I can still do something. As long as the Party needs me, I will continue to work and do my best in the grassroots work, striving to realize the Chinese dream with all workers," said 90-year-old Shen in a strong voice.
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), President Xi Jinping signed a decree awarding 42 people with National Medals and National Honorary Titles on September 17. Among the 42 prize winners, 11 were female. Shen Jilan and Tu Youyou, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of artemisinin, were awarded the Medal of the Republic.
Shen Jilan (1st, L) at a young age. [Xinhua]
At the beginning of the founding of the PRC, Shen led Xigou people in reclaiming more than 33.33 hectares of land, solving food and clothing shortages for all the villagers.
In 1951, Xigou Village set up primary agricultural-production cooperatives. Shen launched a labor competition with equal pay for equal work for men and women, a concept that was gradually promoted across the country. Later, "men and women get equal pay for equal work" was officially written into the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, which has become a milestone in the history of the development of Chinese women.
In 1954, Shen was elected deputy to the first National People's Congress. Over the 65 years of her career as a deputy, she put forward a number of proposals covering agriculture, education, transportation, water conservancy and farmers and rural areas.
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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