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

By Zhang Dan Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/6 18:33:11

A woman is screening information about single men at a matchmaking event held in Shanghai on November 4, 2017. Photo: VCG

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.

Marriage advertisements in the Matchmaking Corner in Shanghai's People's Park. Photo: VCG

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.
Newspaper headline: Saving the best till last

Posted in: IN-DEPTH

blog comments powered by Disqus