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China's first female tractor driver and national icon dies

申博娱乐官网 2020-01-15 18:21:03
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Liang Jun, a woman who became China's first female tractor driver, and eventually a national icon, has died at the age of 90.

China's first female tractor driver and national icon dies

[Photo: Weibo]

In 1948, Liang Jun became the only female in China to take up the job, when she enrolled in a training class for tractor drivers.

More than a decade later, an image of her proudly driving a tractor was featured on China's one-yuan banknote.

"No-one could drive as well as me," she had said in an earlier interview."I have no regrets in this life."

Liang Jun was born in 1930 to a poor family in China's remote Heilongjiang province.

She spent most of her early years helping out at a farm as well as studying in a rural school.

In 1948, when a local school opened up a course to train tractor drivers, she seized her chance.

According to local media, there were 70 students in the class - with Liang Jun being the only female. She eventually completed her training and became the country's first female tractor driver.

A year later, communist leader Mao Zedong announced the creation of the People's Republic of China.

Liang Jun joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as a member and was later sent to a school in Beijing to learn more about agricultural machinery.

She returned to Heilongjiang upon finishing her studies and was posted to work in the Agricultural Machinery Research Institute.

In 1962, China began printing banknotes that featured an image of her driving a tractor.

The communist party had prioritised the mobilising of women - especially those in the countryside - in the country's growing labour force.

Featuring women in various occupations was a way of promoting this, with "no occupation more promoted than that of the female tractor driver", according to the Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism.

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