Rebiya Kadeer

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Name: Rebiya Kadeer

Country: China

Date of birth: 15.11.1946

Education: —

Type of business: Businesswoman

Main Achievements: Chinese entrepreneur, self-made philanthropist, leader. A humanitarian who fought for the rights of the Uyghur people. She was an influential figure in her own country, as well as in the international arena. She built relations with the Chinese Communist Party. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. In 2012 she was included in the world’s 500 most influential Muslims. She initiated the 1,000 Families Mother’s project and also was positioned in the World Uyghur Congress and the Uyghur American Association. 

Something interesting about the person: Rebiya Kadeer is famously known as the Mother of Uyghurs due to her fight for their rights.

Biography:

Rebiya Kadeer was born on the 15th of November 1946 in a country-level city Altay, China. She was the daughter of a gold miner, being born in an underprivileged family and was deprived of the facility to gain high education despite her being passionate about it.

Rebiya entered into her first marriage at an early age of fifteen. Within the years of 1964 to 1976, Rebiya had given birth to six children. The marriage did not improve the quality of living standards. Hence, to make both ends meet, Rebiya started her business of sewing and selling clothes. The business was kept in secrecy from her husband too, which later was used as an excuse to file a divorce. 

Divorced at a young age while having six children to raise on her own, Rebiya stood the tests of time with unflinching motivation. In 1976, she inaugurated her own laundry service. Her laundry venture prospered at a rapid pace and invested the income towards the trading department. With sensible and sharp investments, Rebiya rose from rags-to-riches, earning the title of one of the five wealthiest individuals of the country.

She remarried to a political activist, Sidik Haji Rouzi. She was given recognition from the government of China for being an influential, Uyghur successful entrepreneur. She was introduced to various political committees, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the National People’s Congress, and in 1955, she was also a representative in the United Nations Conference on women.

Rebiya was a renowned philanthropist; she analyzed the lacking facilities of literacy institutes and development opportunities for the Uyghur society. Uyghur people are the Turkish Muslim minority, situated in the northwestern region of China. She used her connections and influences in the political area along with personal finances to publically address the poor environment of Xinjiang and the meager living standards of the Uyghurs.

Rebiya was a spokesperson in the National People’s Congress that took place in 1997. In that conference, Rebiya publically humiliated the government of China by shedding light on the situation of the Uyghurs. She highlighted the torment practiced on political prisoners, the missing education system, and the deprived condition of the farmers. She talked about the harsh policies of the Chinese government. Since this brought shame to China in the global arena, Rebiya was stripped and denied all the titles provided previously.

Despite facing complications with the Chinese officials, Rebiya started the 1,000 Mothers Movement for the women of Uyghur to make them independent and to improve their living standards. In the year of 2004, the international interest earned her Rafto Prize for Human Rights. She was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2006. 

Since she was exiled from China, she moved to the United States to live with her husband. Neither her ambition nor her drive to free the Uyghurs from the Chinese halted. She is currently the president of the World Uyghur Congress and is still carrying on her activism, choosing to fight for the people despite the imprisonment of four of her children.

Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebiya_Kadeer
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Rebiya-Kadeer