Xie Mulan (China)

Xie came from a village in Jiangxi. She was the only surviving child of the family and had to take up the burden of doing chores and field labor for the family from an early age. She had married against her will to a man arranged by her parents. Her husband was very laid-back and the small wage he earned had to be given over to his parents’ family. The burden of earning their livelihood continued to stay on her. She started selling snacks to school children as a hawker. With her savings she eventually opened up a shop in town and their circumstances improved.

In 1998, she went into a new endeavor, building fish ponds to breed snakehead fish. By then her husband had become more proactive in helping her and the family. After several months’ hard work they were able to make a hefty profit. Since then, they and the neighborhood peasants have all gone into aquaculture and in over ten years turned that worthless neighborhood into the largest aquaculture base in the country. Because of that was awarded the Model Worker prize from Jiangxi Province and recognized as one of the Top Ten Heroines of Jiangxi.

In 2008 she was appointed representative to the National People’s Congress. Her vision was to help improve benefits for the people.

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