Women Struggle for Prosperity along the Borders in SW China

Source: Cnwomen.com.cn| Published: 2018-09-11

Several women in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region have committed to the implementation of poverty alleviation in local villages and have spared no efforts to realize prosperity.
It is by no means an easy task to achieve a well-off society, on par with other provinces, in a Tibetan border area with a population of nearly 250,000 people.
According to the Plan for Building Well-off Villages in the Border Areas of the Tibet Autonomous Region issued in 2017, the border areas included 628 border villages (farms) in 112 border counties of 21 towns in the areas of Shigatse, Shannan, Nyingchi and Ali.
These regions inhabit more than 241,835 people consisting of 62,160 households. The government has allocated a total of 30.1 billion yuan to help them escape poverty.
Wang Chunyan, 31, currently a female official in Yadong County, is the first ethnic Han woman to carry out work in a grassroots village in Yadong. Speaking of her original choice, Wang still feels proud of herself.
Wang came to work in Yadong after graduating from college at the age of 23. Two months later, she arrived in a border village with an altitude of nearly 5,000 meters.
Wang revealed that, "At that time, I couldn't get to sleep at night, and there was no electricity supply at all. To make it worse, I couldn't speak the local dialect. I had a real hard time for the first three month, so I didn't plan to stay long."
Wang recalled that the villagers didn’t have an easy access to water at that time, and they carried water from far-away places each morning and kindly placed some of the fetched water in front of her door. As her term came to a close, villagers of 65 households presented her with the Hada, a unique white ribbon used as a gift among the Tibetan representing their warmest hearts.
Wang felt that the value of her work there was extraordinary, and she has decided to stay. As of now, Wang has been working in the village for eight years, and she has been able to understand a variety of Tibetan dialects within the county area of 4,000 square kilometers.
While Wang Chunyan has been preoccupied with lifting local people out of proverty, Jimba, director of women in Basong village, has been striving to make more people to share the fruits of reform. Jimbar, who barely received primary education, does not speak Mandarin. She hopes her daughter will be admitted to college and come back as a village teacher upon graduation. To her great delight,  last year, the first kindergarten was established in the village, which gives the women and children in the village a stronger sense of achievement.
Speaking of the changes in the village, Jimbar laid them out, "There are village doctors in the village, and health centers are also established in towns and villages. We don't need to travel out of the village to seek treatment for minor illnesses. Women can also deliver their children in local hospitals and they can also receive birth subsidies."
Following the improvement of the village's infrastructure, Jimbar began to take the lead in picking up garbage in the village as part of her effort to protect the environment. And since the establishment of the kindergarten, she also undertook to enhance the awareness of responsibility among the public to provide children with an education.
Zhuoma, who has served as the director of Mama Village for more than four years, stated that of the 90 people in her village, more than 70 are women. After the completion of transformation reform in the village this year, she was elected president of the village women's federation. Now that the villagers have been lifted out of poverty, the next step for her is to focus on the development of women and children in the village as well as the protection of their rights and interests.
Ciwanglamu was born in Lhasa. She traveled to Yuolin Town at the age of 24 and became a young civil servant. At first, she was attracted by the soil that was eroded by water for more than 1,100 years and the Guge historical site built by the descendants of the ancient Tibetan royals thousands of years ago. However, she was upset by the water shortage as soon as she arrived.
At that time, Ciwanglamu, who lived on the border of the town, spent nearly an hour going to the other side of town to fetch water every day, a practice that lasted for as long as four years.
"Now, the villagers and shops all have access to water. Even though the place I live in still has a limited supply, I have bought a motorcycle and it is very convenient to carry water," Ciwanglamu said proudly. Now, she is the president of the women's federation in Tuolin Town and has fostered a very good relationship with locals.
Yangjinbamu married a man in Maga Village in the county of Jilong when she was young, and has lived a very conservative life. After the road was repaired, she returned to the village with her husband and made various attempts to start a business, including selling wood, doing border trade and trading herbs.
In 2014, with the support of the village, she purchased a large truck and excavator, and started a business of car freight and rental excavators. Last year, she and her husband earned 400,000 yuan.
Moreover, she was elected the only female member of the newly established Border Trade Association in the county.
The oldest daughter of Yangjinbamu became the first student ever in the village admitted to university in the mainland, whilst her second daughter was also admitted to college this year. Now, they have become role models for the children in the village.