Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Asian Women Speak Out

An Opera Singer Speaks
"The environment or culture that Chinese people grow up in consists of too many restrictions and oppressions. It's hard to place the blame on anyone, because it is so deep-rooted in our culture. People who control you are controlled by others above them. They don't know how to act otherwise, because that's all they know. continue reading]

Crossing the Border: Three Burmese Women Speak
Burmese national Ni Ni Aung was 13 years old when she was taken to Thailand to work."They said: ‘Come and work here in Thailand.’ My parents were in trouble over there. They had nothing to eat, so I came here to work… My mother herself sent me off with my clothes."

Yunnan Woman in Plea For More Democracy
A woman caller from Yunnan province, in southwest China, responds to requests for more women to call RFA's listener hotlines. She tells Jill Ku, of the Mandarin call-in show, Voice of the People, about her aspirations for greater democracy and a better China.

Burmese Woman Sold Herself To Save Her Mother
Lwin Lwin grew up in Insein township in Burma’s longtime capital, Rangoon. She was forced to work in a clothing factory after just a few years of primary education to help support her family. She was living in a village close to the China-Burma border when she was interviewed by May Pyone Aung of RFA’s Burmese service in January 2005...

Rebiya Kadeer Aims To Help Uyghur People from Exile
Rebiya Kadeer is a prominent businesswoman and political activist from China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang, and a member of the mostly Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority. She was born into poverty but became wealthy as an entrepreneur before becoming a political prisoner.

North Korean Defector Wants Children to Marry Well
Yoo Young-soon, 57, worked in a coal mine in North Hamkyung province in North Korea until she escaped to China in the 1990s. She lived in hiding in China for seven years and paid a broker to smuggle her into South Korea with her son in 2003.

Princess Calls For Focus on Plight of Lao Women
Princess Savivanh Savang Manivong was the second daughter born to King Savang Vatthana and Queen Khampoui of Luang Prabang, Laos. Born in 1933, her older brother, Prince Vong Savang, and younger brother, Prince Sisavang, were arrested and taken, along with their parents, to Communist re-education camps in 1975 and subsequently disappeared.

North Korea: Former defector describes life in the South
Kim Chunae is a former defector from North Korea, who has been living in Seoul for the last three years. In a recent column for RFA’s Korean service, she describes a simple trip to shop for electronic goods at a chain store. "The more I looked at the products in the store, the more I felt excited and curious. I touched this and that, wanting to buy everything in the store. I kept asking the sales people what was this and what was that and how to use it."

Cambodia: The Women's Shelter Director
Ung Chanthol, 39, is the director of the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center in Phnom Penh, which was set up in 1997 to help women victims of rape, domestic violence, and the sex trade. Her organization currently offers shelters, vocational training, and assistance to around 2,000 women victimized by violence every year.

Anchee Min Wrote to Avoid Restaurant Work
Anchee Min didn’t speak a word of English when she first arrived in the United States, yet she has written five U.S. bestsellers in her adopted language. Her early life was spent on a farm in a Shanghai suburb, until she was discovered and made a movie star by Mao Zedong’s wife, Jiang Qing. After falling out of favor when the Gang of Four fell from power, Anchee Min came to the U.S. in 1984 and studied at the Chicago Art Institute. Eight years later, her first novel, Red Azalea, became a New York Times bestseller.

Category: Asia and China.