Saving the best till last

▶ Women in Shang­hai sig­nif­i­cantly post­pon­ing mar­riage in pur­suit of ca­reer: re­port

Global Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Zhang Dan

Women in Shang­hai are sig­nif­i­cantly post­pon­ing their age of get­ting mar­ried, the Shang­hai Women’s Fed­er­a­tion found.

In a re­cently re­leased re­port on Shang­hai women’s de­vel­op­ment over the past 40 years, the fed­er­a­tion said that the “two-child” pol­icy has in­ten­si­fied the in­vis­i­ble dis­crim­i­na­tion against women be­cause com­pa­nies con­sider more is­sues when hir­ing them.

Both men and women in Shang­hai get mar­ried later than the na­tional av­er­age. The in­creased range for women is higher than that of men.

By 2015, the av­er­age age of get­ting mar­ried for men and women in Shang­hai was 30.3 and 28.4 re­spec­tively, grow­ing 5 and 5.4 years com­pared with 2005.

How­ever, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to get mar­ried.

Many Shang­hai par­ents go to the Match­mak­ing Cor­ner in the Peo­ple’s Park ev­ery week in or­der to find a golden bach­e­lor for their daugh­ters.

A sur­vey car­ried out in 2010 by the Jour­nal­ism School at Fu­dan Univer­sity said among more than 900 fe­male univer­sity grad­u­ates from 17 Chi­nese univer­si­ties, more than 70 per­cent of re­spon­dents said their great­est fear is be­com­ing a 3S lady – mean­ing sin­gle, born in the 70s and stuck.

Pre­vi­ously, these sin­gle women were stig­ma­tized and called “left­over women.” These women are mostly in­de­pen­dent and ed­u­cated, around the ex­pected age of mar­riage, and still sin­gle.

It seems that al­though me­dia have ex­ag­ger­ated Shang­hai women’s ea­ger­ness to get mar­ried quickly, the num­bers don’t re­flect this phe­nom­e­non.

The lat­est re­port shows that the num­ber of women in Shang­hai with spouses has been de­creas­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the num­ber of mar­ried women be­tween 25 and 29 years of age dropped by 11.5 per­cent from 2005 to 2015. The de­crease was 7.6 for women be­tween 30 and 34.

For men, there is no sig­nif­i­cant change, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

In­vis­i­ble dis­crim­i­na­tion

Al­though Shang­hai women re­ceive bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion com­pared to dozens of years ago, the prob­lem of a glass ceil­ing at the work­place hasn’t im­proved.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the per­cent­age of fe­male lead­ers, tech­ni­cians and staff rose from 1982 to 2015. How­ever, most peo­ple at the wheel are still men rather than women. In 2015 among all staff at a se­nior level, women ac­counted for 29.1 per­cent and men ac­counted for 70.9 per­cent.

This means the higher the po­si­tion is, the fewer women will be fill­ing it.

Tang Yon­g­long, a psy­chol­ogy pro­fes­sor at South­west Univer­sity, told the Global Times that the cur­rent so­cial sys­tem is still a pa­tri­ar­chal society. Un­der this sit­u­a­tion, even if women be­come more in­de­pen­dent fi­nan­cially and spir­i­tu­ally, it is hard to change the so­cial eval­u­a­tion sys­tem and most Chi­nese tra­di­tional be­liefs about mar­riage.

The re­searchers noted due to the chang­ing birth pol­icy in China, es­pe­cially af­ter the “two-child” pol­icy was in­tro­duced, women have to take more re­spon­si­bil­ity at home, mean­while meet­ing new chal­lenges at work, Xin­min­wan­bao re­ported.

A woman sur­named Zhang in Bei­jing was quite as­ton­ished when asked about her re­la­tion­ship sta­tus and ex­pected age to get mar­ried dur­ing a job in­ter­view. “When I am get­ting mar­ried is none of your busi­ness,” she replied dur­ing the job in­ter­view.

It’s not clear whether this an­swer left a bad im­pres­sion on the com­pany, but she didn’t get the job. Re­turn­ing from Leeds Univer­sity, Zhang didn’t un­der­stand the re­la­tion be­tween get­ting a job and her mar­riage.

“Peo­ple should be aware that women who don’t get mar­ried or post­pone their mar­riage are not prob­lems,” Tang said. “Women who get mar­ried late might be more ma­ture. Their mar­riage might be more stable and hap­pier than those who get mar­ried early.”

On the other hand, he said women who don’t get mar­ried early could de­vote more time and en­ergy to society and their job to re­al­ize their per­sonal po­ten­tial, in­stead of spend­ing time on tak­ing care of their fam­ily.

Pho­tos: VCG

Top in­set: Mar­riage ad­ver­tise­ments in the Match­mak­ing Cor­ner in Shang­hai’s Peo­ple’s ParkA woman is screen­ing in­for­ma­tion about sin­gle men at a match­mak­ing event held in Shang­hai on Novem­ber 4, 2017.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.