Three Uyghur poems

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March 21, 2023 | The China Project | By Michael Fiddler

Nuzugum is a symbol of Uyghur national identity and resistance against foreign oppression, and the chastity and purity of Uyghur women and the nation in general. Her heroic but tragic story is all the more heartbreaking in light of the trauma faced by Uyghur women in recent years. Young women were targeted for labor transfers to inner China starting in early 2000s, a policy which was understood as encouraging or coercing them to find Han Chinese husbands in their new locations. More recently, Uyghur Human Rights Project and a variety of news agencies have reported on current Chinese government programs that offer financial incentives for Uyghur women who are willing to marry Han men. Additionally, the “Civil Servant Family Pair-Up” programs (结对认亲 jié duì rèn qīn) put Uyghur women in extremely vulnerable positions, especially when their husbands have been disappeared into the camps or prisons, as they may be forced to host male Communist Party cadres for regular overnight homestays.

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