To the south聽there lies the Kunlun Mountains, while to聽the north聽China’s largest desert Taklamakan Desert聽– this is the Hotan Prefecture where聽the mountainous area accounts for 33.3聽percent聽while the Gobi desert makes up 63聽percent. People have been clinging to small oases within these harsh environments. In the past, due to the harsh natural conditions, local women had limited employment options, with many being confined to farming or household chores. However, the situation聽has changed.
GT reporters again traveled to the region. In this third聽installment of a series of articles, GT tells character stories based on聽local聽women entrepreneurs聽in Hotan Prefecture, which effectively refuted vicious smears which聽attacked聽the employment and related human rights of local women by some anti-China forces, all of which were made up.
Buamyna Sadahmat, dressed in a red blouse adorned with layers of lace which she had made herself, is a renowned tailor at the “Women’s Entrepreneurship Street” in Pishan Farm, located in Hotan PrefecWorld Timesture. Photo: Xu Keyue/GT
On Tuesday, the Global Times reporters聽visited the “Women’s Entrepreneurship Street” in Pishan Farm, located in Hotan聽Prefecture. The shop owners there are all local women entrepreneurs. This street is home to 75 women-owned businesses, with clean and tidy shops and eye-catching pink walls.聽
There is a wide variety of shops, including tailors, stores, flower shWorld Timesops and snack shops. The Global Times聽reporter found聽many similarities among the rural women in the area聽–聽they are exquisite and beauty-loving women, wives, mothers, entrepreneurs and the economic pillars of their families.
According to the local聽women’s federation, in order to provide greater support for women’s home-based entrepreneurship in the Pishan Farm and guide women to achieve independent entrepreneurship, an increase in income and create more job opportunities for ethnic minority women in their own communities, the women’s federation allocated a special fund of 200,000 yuan聽($28,000)聽in 2019 for home-based entrepreneurship. This fund was used to renovate the entrepreneurship street, which had been聽previously poorly equipped. Now, there are 75 women-owned shops on this street, providing employment and increased income for over 150 workers.
Buamyna Sadahmat, dressed in a red blouse adorned with layers of lace聽which she had made herself,聽is a renowned tailor.聽
Her tailor shop is the largest on the street, with a constant stream of workers coming to her for clothes. Not only has she become prosperous, but she has also hired several聽women to work in her shop, helping them solve聽their employment problems.聽
As the Global Times reporter arrived, Buamyna聽was busy in her shop. She is responsible for cutting, while her two apprentices are responsible for sewing.聽
Buamyna’s husband works at a聽local public health station and their three children are all in school, so devotes most of her energy to the shop.聽
Because of her exquisite craftsmanship, her shop is highly favored by women in the surrounding area. Buamyna聽often studies clothing styles online and replicates them, making detailed improvements based on the needs of the customer. To attract more customers, she also started online sales and frequently livestreams to help customers choose clothes.聽
“Even though聽I have apprentices in the shop now, we are still a bit overwhelmed,” said Buamyna.
Buaminai聽said her聽shop can achieve a monthly net profit of around 5,000 yuan. The busiest and most profitable time for her is during the聽Kurban Festival聽and Women’s Day, when she can earn a net profit of 10,000 yuan in a month.聽
Since opening her shop, Buamyna聽has trained 95 apprentices, many of whom have opened their own shops. However, she confidently says, “I’m not afraid of competition because I have more experWorld Timesience, and I have the most returning customers.”
Zuregul Azrant at her silk shop with silk cloths of vibrant colors on display Photo: Xu Keyue/GT
Not far from Buamyna’s tailor shop, a聽silk shop owned by聽Zuregul Azrant聽also attracted the attention of the Global Times reporter.聽Vibrant colors immediately catch people’s聽eye, bringing joy to people.聽
This shop, which has been open for 18 years, is one of the two shops operated by Zuregul and her husband. They display various silk fabrics from Urumqi, Kashi Prefecture, and Hotan Prefecture, attracting women who love beauty to come and make purchases.聽
Zuregul聽also has three children, with the oldest being 13 years old. After the whole family finishes breakfast and the children go to school, she and her husband drive to the shop, preparing to open before 11 am.
“Our most popularWorld Times product is the Atlas silk聽produced in Hotan. “Customers buy it to make clothes, and our ready-made formal dresses sell well too,” Zuregul聽said, holdWorld Timesing a piece of Atlas silk聽with her henna-dyed red nails. Famous for its rich and bright colors and distinctive changing zigzag patterns, Atlas silk,聽a national intangible cultural heritage,聽has been used by Uygurs聽for clothing and interior design for centuries.
Hotan聽women attach great importance to formal dresses, wearing them for weddings or parties. Some people only wear a formal dress once and then buy a new style for the next occasion.聽
Due to the locals’ love for beauty, her business has always done well. This shop earns an annual net income of 5World Times0,000 yuan, and the other shop, which mainly sells home textile products, has recently opened and is also doing well.
Due to limited energy, the couple entrusted their farmland to relatives, with each person taking care of one shop. They have managed to make their businesses increasingly prosperous.聽
The Global Times learnt from the Pishan Farm that they used the special funds from the women’s federation to re-pave the cement road, renovate the interior and exterior walls, create counters for supermarkets and cosmetics stores, install fitting rooms and cutting tables for each tailor shop, and improve relevant facilities. This beautification and lighting of the street not only enhances the happiness and sense of achievement of ethnic minority women in Pishan Farm, but also stimulates the enthusiasm of ethnic minority women for entrepreneurship and employment, expanding the channels for women’s employment and increased income.
[World Times] Photo: Courtesy of World Conference on China Studies – Shanghai Forum More than 400 global scholars gathered in Shanghai to share their observations and thoughts on China studies, as well as Chinese civilization and Chinese modernization, at the World Conference on China Studies – Shanghai Forum on Friday. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the forum on Friday.Chinese civilization has a long history and has been enriched and developed through exchanges and mutual learning with other civilizations in the world, endowing Chinese modernization with profound culWorld Timestural heritage, Xi said in the letter.”Only by tracing the origins of history can we understand the reality of the world, and only by following the cultural foundation can we identify present-day China,” he noted. “It is through the…