Villager elected in legislature record
Shen Jilan, a villager in Shanxi province, was elected deputy to the 12th National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013. Shen, 84, has gained a wealth of political experience over the past six decades. After holding her elected status as a national model worker from 1952 to 1996, she has now become the only person in China to be elected as a deputy to the top legislature 12 consecutive times.
Shen Jilan (L) sings a song with two other National People's Conference (NPC) deputies to celebrate the Women's Day in Beijing on March 6, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]
Her half-century term has led to her being dubbed "the world's longest-serving congresswoman" by her overseas friends.
As early as the spring of 1952, Shen campaigned for "equal pay for equal work" between men and women. Her pioneering efforts prompted her election to the NPC's maiden session two years later, and Chinese women achieved equal pay when it was adopted into the Constitution in 1954.
Over the past several decades, Shen has led her village in planting nearly 1,667 hectares of trees, constructing more than 800 dams and developing 60 hectares of land reclamation.