TIANSHANNET   ›   News   ›   Xinjiang News

Across China: Regional aid grants Xinjiang women jobs, confidence

  BEIJING, May 19 (Xinhua) -- In a clean sewing workshop, 19-year-old Mihrigul Ahmattohti is sewing a tent part.

  She is one of the best employees at a weaving plant in Hotan Prefecture, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, making 6,000 yuan (942 U.S. dollars) every month.

  "Many of my women folks are jealous of me," she said with a smile, adding that the job gave her not only wages but also confidence.

  Mihrigul was born in a local farmer's family. Her mother suffered a brain hemorrhage, and the farming income, including raising sheep, can barely support the family.

  "Thanks to what my daughter has brought home, we are living a much better life," said Ahmattohti Rijap, father of Mihrigul.

  Mihrigul works in Xinjiang Jinghe Textile Technology Company, an affiliated entity of the state-owned Beijing Fashion Holdings Co. set up as part of regional aid from the Beijing municipal government to help develop Xinjiang.

  In 2016, Mihrigul and more than 50 Uygur schoolmates graduated from a vocational school in tailoring, and became the first group of the company's local workers.

  To date, the company has recruited more than 600 local workers, many of whom are Uygur women from poor families.

  "I did not know the world was so big and wonderful until I visited Beijing. Before that, the furthest place I had been to was the city proper of Hotan," said Nurnisahan Yasin, 20, who comes from rural Hotan.

  The company provides training lessons, which gives local workers access to big cities like Beijing.

  Nurnisahan remembers how her father cried at the time and felt so proud of her when she got her first salary of 3,200 yuan during her internship.

  Nurnisahan's family used to have a car repair workshop. But since her father injured his spine last year, she has become the only breadwinner in her family of six.

  Dong Jiaqi, deputy manager of the Jinghe company, said the average salary of local workers was more than 3,000 yuan, enough to ensure an entire family can cast off poverty.

  According to Dong, the number of jobs will increase to 1,000 as a workshop expansion project will soon start.

  The central government decided at the first central work meeting on Xinjiang in 2010 to set up a mechanism under which 19 provinces and major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangdong Province, provide financial and technological support to Xinjiang.

  Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, the 19 provinces and cities have invested 72.4 billion yuan to the region and offered more than 500,000 job opportunities to local residents, according to statistics.

  The Chinese government plans to eradicate poverty by 2020.

  Nurnisahan said her training experience in Beijing was unforgettable, largely because of the prosperity of the city.

  The women workers often chat about their plans after work. "We want to work hard, earn money and have a look at the big world," Nurnisahan said.