Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors
In China, a harmonious family is considered the bedrock of a stable society. For that reason, the Chinese Government has focused on population planning, striving for a 'high quality' population, meaning that it needs the educated and affluent segment of the population to start families. Maybe it sounds a bit far-fetched? But it is true. Over the last 10 years, with the sex ratio imbalance following the one child policy1 and the growing fear of a decreasing population, millions of successful single women of China have been shamed into marrying early to ensure their childbearing years are not wasted.
Imagine you are one of these women. You just turned 27. You are ambitious. You moved to Shanghai for an exciting job opportunity. You are enjoying life, curiously looking forward to what the future might bring. But you are still single. Still haven't married and settled down. The government and society will then label you a 'sheng nu'2, a 'leftover woman'. The phrase implies that all your achievements so far are worthless. If you are not married by the age of 27, no one will want to marry you because you're too old. You are 'damaged goods'. And as Chinese culture expects you as a woman to marry 'up', being successful only reduces your odds of settling down.