Kadeer is the de facto leader of the movement for social justice for the 15-million-strong Uighur ethnic-population of China. She was formerly a successful businesswoman and philanthropist in China but was imprisoned in 1999 for leaking state secrets and now lives in exile in the United States. Before her arrest, Kadeer was running the 1,000 Families Mother’s Project, which helped Uighur women start businesses. She now presides over both the World Uighur Congress and the Uighur American Association. She is well-known for her work in Europe and North America publicizing the plight of the Uighur ethnic group, and is partially responsible for raising the issue’s status both in China and abroad. The Chinese government sees Kadeer as an agitator. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.
Source of Influence: Political
Status: Featured in current year