Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

September 27, 2019
Editor: Wang Liyan

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, decided to confer national medals and honorary titles on 42 outstanding individuals for their contributions to the PRC on September 17. Among the awardees, there are two women honored with the Medal of the Republic and six Chinese women who were awarded national honorary titles. The awardees have made great contributions to China's economy, society, national defense, diplomacy, education, technology, culture and other important areas.

Winners of the Medal of the Republic

The Medal of the Republic is the country's highest honor for prominent figures who have made great contributions to the construction and development of the PRC. Among the eight winners, two are females.

Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

Shen Jilan, who has been a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) since 1954, takes part in a discussion of the second group of the Shanxi Delegation for the Third Session of the 12th NPC in Beijing on March 10, 2015. [Women of China/Fan Wenjun]

Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

Shen Jilan (L1) at a young age. [Xinhua]

 

Shen Jilan has been a farmer her whole life. She is also China's longest-serving lawmaker. Shen stands out among nearly 3,000 National People's Congress (NPC) deputies as the only one to serve at all 13 NPCs since 1954. She started out at 25 and turns 90 this year.

Shen is from a remote village in the Taihang Mountains, a revolutionary base of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in North China's Shanxi Province.

It was she who proposed the clause "equal pay for equal work" between men and women, which was written into the first Constitution of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1954.

Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

Chinese scientist Tu Youyou, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of artemisinin, takes a photo at her home in Beijing. [Xinhua]

Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

Tu Youyou (L2) at a young age. [Xinhua]

 

Tu Youyou, 89, is dedicated to medical research with an aim to finding a cure for malaria and has saved the lives of millions. She is also the first Chinese woman to win the Nobel Prize. She solved the problem of inadequate anti-malarial treatment and made important contributions to scientific and technological innovations in traditional Chinese medicine and human health.

Winners of the National Honorary Titles

Yu Yi, 90, has long been devoted to Chinese middle school teaching. She advocated for innovation in both educational thought and teaching practice, writing many educational works, many of which were adopted by education departments in China.

Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

Yu Yi, winner of the "People's Educator" National Honorary Title, talks with students. [Xinhua]

Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

Yu Yi [File Photo]

 

As the honorary principal of Shanghai Yangpu Senior High School, former director of the National Language Society and vice president of the Chinese Teaching Research Association of Middle Schools, she has spent her whole life in teaching and promoting the reform and development of basic education throughout the country.

Qin Yi, 97, is a national-level actress as well as a member of the third, fourth and fifth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Adhering to the creative orientation of literature and art serving socialism and taking people as the center, she has starred in more than 30 films.

Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

Qin Yi, winner of the "People's Artist" National Honorary Title. [Xinhua/Lin Bingliang]

Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

Qin Yi at a young age. [File Photo]

 

Guo Lanying, 89, is an opera singer and vocalist who has made great contributions to China's music and music education. As a singer and performer, she is well-known for her popular songs and the vivid characters she portrayed. As a vocal artist and music educator, she helped establish the folk opera performance system and helped develop traditional Chinese vocal arts.

Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

Opera singer Guo Lanying, winner of the "People's Artist" National Honorary Title. [Xinhua/Li Fangyu]

Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

Guo Lanying performs in a musical at a young age. [File Photo]

 

A border guard of the Jigen Township in Wuqia County, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, 77-year-old Burumahan Maoleduo has patrolled the border for 50 years. She has to walk at least 20 kilometers every day to patrol the borderline with an average altitude of over 4,000 meters. Some stones found at the borderline, bearing on one side the characters for China hand-engraved in the simplest way by Burumahan, have become a symbol of patriotism for local guardians. She was honored as a National Model of the People and the Army.

Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

Burumahan Maoleduo, winner of "People's Role Model" National Honorary Title [Xinhua/Li Xiang]

Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

Burumahan Maoleduo shows the stones with the characters for China to children. [File Photo]

 

Duguimaa became a mother at 19 when she adopted 28 orphans from Shanghai in the early 60s, when southern China suffered a period of natural disasters. To foster the orphans, she taught herself to become an obstetrician and helped scores of young mothers deliver babies at a time when there was little medical equipment available. She has received honors for her devotion from the regional women's federation and the publicity department.

Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

Duguimaa, 77, reads a Mongol newspaper at her home in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, May 10, 2017. [Xinhua]

Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

Duguimaa and her adopted son Zhalagamu look at old photos. [Xinhua]

 

Fan Jinshi, 81, is an archaeologist who has devoted herself to research and study in Dunhuang, Northwest China's Gansu Province. She is an explorer and guardian of Dunhuang's cultural relics. Based in the desert regions, she established a chronological catalog of the Mogao Caves, which facilitated the scientific protection of the ancient formations. She was honored as a National Excellent Communist Party Member and rated as a national advanced worker.

Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

Fan Jinshi, winner of the "Outstanding Contributor to the Protection of Cultural Relics" National Honorary Title [Xinhua]

Eight Chinese Women Awarded Highest National Honors

Fan Jinshi (L) at a young age. [File Photo]

 

Now Honorary President of the Dunhuang Academy, Fan has taken the lead in carrying out special laws and regulations on the protection of cultural relics and protection planning and construction, exploring theories and methods for the scientific protection of the grottoes; she has also made significant contributions to the permanent preservation and sustainable use of the Mogao Caves.

 

(Source: China Women's News and chinadaily.com.cn /Translated and edited by Women of China)

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