Special women receive recognition

11:30, March 08, 2010      

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Pan Mei'er has been taking care of leprosy patients for the past 13 years and her extraordinary devotion has earned her an award for being one of the country's top 10 career women role models.

In 1997, the graduate from Huzhou Health School was appointed a nurse in the leprosy section of the Institute of Prevention and Treatment of Skin Disease, in Deqing county, a mountainous area of Zhejiang province.

The 34-year-old, from Zhejiang, admitted she was at first appalled by the deformities of the disease, but once she decided to make it her life work, she has helped many thousands of sufferers.

"They badly needed me, I couldn't just walk away," Pan says.

Her commitment won her the prestigious Florence Nightingale Award last year. She was also acclaimed by netizens as the country's most beautiful nurse.

With nine other outstanding women, Pan received the 2009 Chinese Women's Achievement Award last week, ahead of the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day.

Launched by Yang Lan, an acclaimed talk show host and her Sun Media Group in 2007, and co-organized with the All-China Women's Federation, awards have been granted to extraordinary Chinese professional women.

Li Ruiying, a well-known face to Chinese TV audiences and anchorwoman for the most watched news program on CCTV for almost two decades, was given an award for professionalism.

Yang Jia, professor with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, lost her eyesight at 29, yet carried on teaching.

She studied at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University as a senior visiting scholar and was lauded for being Harvard's first successful blind student, in its 300-year history.

Other award recipients include Zhang Qiyue, ambassador to Indonesia; Yan Xu, marketing president of Tsingtao Beer; Wang Yihan, executive chairman of Beijing Chinese Art Exposition; Zhou Weiyan, executive chairman of the One Foundation; actress Li Bingbing; Zhang Xin, CEO of SOHO China; and dancer Hou Honglan.

The Special Award went to the women's speed skating team, which recently grabbed medals at the speed skating events in Vancouver for the Winter Olympics.

Mother's Water Cellar, a charity project to supply adequate water in western drought-stricken rural areas since 2001, was also recognized for its achievement.

Source: China Daily (By Guo Shuhan)

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