On International Women’s Day There Is Nothing for Uyghur Women to Celebrate
March 8, 2022 | The Diplomat | By Zubayra Shamseden
I am hiding my depression
Because I don’t want to look crazy to others.
I am hiding my pain with fake smile,
Because I don’t want to kill other’s mood.
I am hiding my tears from my innocent kids, my caring husband and my dear friends
Because I am afraid of dragging them in
— Subi Memet
Subi Memet posted this poem on social media in January 2022. An American Uyghur, her father Mamat Abdullah was sentenced to life in prison by Chinese authorities. He is a 71-year-old former head of the Uyghur Region’s Department of Forestry.
Uyghur women, whether in East Turkestan or overseas, are living through daily torment. In staged propaganda, China shows the “happy faces” of dancing Uyghur women, trying to cover up the atrocities behind those smiles. China’s international media is heavily promoting its creation of a “new life” for Uyghurs. But in reality, Uyghur women are suffering forced sterilization, forced abortion, forced birth control, forced marriages, mental and physical torture, and sexual assault in detention.