15 in a Billion

With 1.4 billion citizens, mainland China is the world's most populous country—and home to one in five women on our planet, from rice farmers to multimillionaires. Photographer Kate Peters and writer Abigail Haworth capture a portrait of a nation in dramatic flux through 15 women.

By Abigail Haworth

November 5, 2012 11:00 AM
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Ethnic Minority

Rena Arken, 22

Arken belongs to the Muslim Uighur ethnic minority based in the northern semiautonomous province of Xinjiang. The Uighur people have their own language and distinctive clothing, food, and music. Ethnic clashes with the majority Chinese have erupted frequently. Arken is currently a student in Beijing, majoring in media and PR. She loves her Uighur heritage and earns extra cash by singing and dancing at weddings in traditional dress. "It's hard to keep my identity in modern China, but I'm determined to try," she says.

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