Across China: Xinjiang training center restarts young mother's life

Miyeser Abuduxvkvr, a resident of the county of Yining in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, used to participate in unlawful religious activities after she was brainwashed by extremism.

Abuduxvkvr, 22, became a housewife after she got married when she was 15, younger than the country's minimum marriage age of 20. She was already a mother of two before she was 18 years old.

Apart from taking care of her children and parents-in-law, the young Uygur woman spent most of her time on unlawful religious activities.

"The heavy housework exhausted me. Life was dull and hopeless. The extremist preaching asked me to submit to my husband and religion only, and I could do nothing but obey," she said, adding that she was required to wear a black burka and had to throw away all of her colorful skirts and shirts.

"I was told that Han people are all pagans and we should stay away from them. I was shown violent terrorism videos and taught about extremism," she said.

"I was skeptical at first, but later started to believe in what they said. In the end, I was so convinced that I even tried to sell the extremists' beliefs to others," she recalled.

To people who know Abuduxvkvr, the outgoing young woman had turned into an unsociable and strange person.

In a bid to get her back, village officials and family elders managed to persuade her to join a local vocational education and training center in June 2018.

Abuduxvkvr eventually got her life back on track after receiving training at the center from June 2018 to April 2019.

"How should a woman live her life? The question has confused me for many years. From my studies at the center, I got an answer -- women enjoy the same rights as men do," she said.

She took courses in Mandarin, law, and deradicalization, as well as vocational skills at the center. The 10-month-long textile skills training helped her find a job in an enterprise near her home. She gets paid at least 1,500 yuan (about 212 U.S. dollars) per month and leads a team of over a dozen workers.

She works hard at her job and takes part in contests to improve her skills. In her spare time, she often finds herself at dancing performances and basketball matches.

"I feel like my life has been restarted," she said. With her hair dyed brown, and wearing blue jeans, she is a woman of fashion.

"I can make money myself now. I feel powerful being a woman and my family also feels proud of my transformation," she added.