She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.
She says: “The only way to solve the problem of women’s subordination is to change people’s mindset and to plant the new idea of gender equality into every mind”.
Qingrong Ma – China
She works for the Xingfu Village Women’s Association.
Ma Qingrong was born in 1943 in Gaocao township, Xichang City, Sichuan Province. She belongs to the Muslim faith and believes in Islam. She was married to a resident of Xingfu Village, Yulong township when she was 18 and since then, has never left the place.
Ma led a difficult life and suffered a lot when she grew up; she is deeply sympathetic and concerned for the poor. In the past 20 years, she has helped countless poor people. Every time, whatever the problem, she would try her best to help. The women in Xingfu village had a very low status. In some families, women were maltreated. It was common for them to be beaten or abused by their husbands. Ma would stand up for the women because she believed in the equality of women; she could not tolerate husband’s being violent.
In the beginning, she tried to settle disputes and comfort and help the women being abused. She tried to persuade the bad-tempered husbands to calm down and to be understanding. But when the husbands abused their family members with physical violence, she would severely criticize them and try to educate them with explicit arguments on women’s rights. The women began to feel that there was somebody who cared.
Later, Ma realized that working on her own was not sustainable; she had limited energy and influence. Also, to solve the problem of women’s subordination was to change the people’s mindset and plant the new idea of gender equality into their minds. So she talked to a few of the abused women about her thoughts and with the consent of her husband, Ma and the women decided to set up a Women’s Association after careful consideration. Under the leadership of Ma, the members set their main tasks as mediating family disputes, preventing violence against women, and providing help to the abused women.
When they were not busy in the field, they talked with their neighbors about ideas of gender equality, domestic violence prevention, and family harmony. As these activities were not time-consuming, many women, especially those who were suppressed by their husbands, got interested in the Association. Twelve women joined the Association voluntarily as founding members.
The Women’s Association was established and they began to intervene in several family disputes. Their achievements had an impact on those women who used to remain silent. Some men also started to change their attitude; at least, they were not so unscrupulous as before. Then more women joined the Association, which further strengthened the movement towards protection of women rights. As the sound of quarreling gradually died out in the village, the village became more peaceful and harmonious.
Ma realized that, because of the general conservative social culture, the thought that men were superior to women was still deeply rooted in people’s minds, not only among men, but also among many women. If literacy levels among women were raised soon, the idea of gender equality would take root. The Association began to encourage women to read books and study. When busy with reading books in their leisure time, they would no longer be bothered about petty things. Furthermore, they would feel enriched. Many women, who were not members of the Association, joined the reading activities.
In addition to her being a believer of Islam, Ma never gossips about other people’s business but just works quietly on her own course; she has influenced many women. She also brings hope to them by promoting the status of women in the village and the township. Now whether they are children, women, or old people, they have all discarded the old habits of selfishness and unhelpfulness.
Instead, they are willing to help one another as long as they have time and ability. Under the influence of Ma, many decided to learn to read. Whenever they have time, they come to the library to read, to talk, and to help each other. Women have changed their lives, their families, and the society.
Mother Teresa once said, “We are not great people. But we can do every single great thing in our lives with great love”. Ma Qingrong has lived out the spirit of this Nobel Peace Prize winner. (1000PeaceWomen).
Sorry, I can’t find more informations about Qingrong Ma, China in the Internet, being sure it is the wanted person.