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Netizens Debate on Highly-educated 'Leftover Women'
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2014-1-21-
Title: Netizens Debate on Highly-educated 'Leftover Women'
Author:
Source: womenofchina.cn
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Keyword: Netizens, Debate, Highly-educated, Leftover Women
 
"Women with doctoral degrees who are not actively looking for relationships has become a problem," said Luo Biliang, a member of the Guangdong Political Consultative Conference during a panel discussion at a conference held recently.[s1979.com]

"Women with doctoral degrees who are not actively looking for relationships has become a problem," said Luo Biliang, a member of the Guangdong Political Consultative Conference during a panel discussion at a conference held recently. 

He came up with the metaphor and compared women to products. "The product has stayed on the shelf for over 20 years. On a perspective of relationships, pursuing doctoral degrees adds no value to women, and decreases their value instead," he said. 
 
Chen Riyuan, a professor from the South China Agricultural University and also a member of the Guangdong Political Consultative Conference, said he always suggests that single women who want to pursue doctoral degrees should find boyfriends first. "It is for the sake of their future life and happiness. Such outstanding women should not become leftover women who have passed the optimal age for marriage," Chen said. 
 
Netizens hold different opinions on the matter. Some echo the worries mentioned. A netizen named 'Small Fan Fireflies Elina' said that women have now exchanged their youth with an education certificate, and as a result have missed their youth. 
 
A netizen named 'Strawberry Bear Country' firmly said, "Once choosing the road, a woman should be brave enough to go on with it, even if they are alone." 
 
"For knowledge, personal quality, social development and future demand perspectives, education definitely adds value to women," said netizen 'Hailin2198'. 
 
"Do the best thing in the best time. Education and marriage are both important. A woman should balance between the two by herself. They should make their own choices as long as they won't feel regret in the future," said netizen "Ponyo Ponyo on the Cliff". 
 
Another netizen named 'Laozhou' said people should not make a big deal out of the matter. "Many of my colleagues are women holding doctoral degrees. They are normal people too. Their rate of marriage is no less than other groups, and some of them can be well balanced between their family and career." 
 
He added that the officials should speak on this based on official statistics. "They should prove the relation between marriage and education first," he said. 
 
Netizen 'A Er' agreed. "The women holding doctoral degrees that I know are pretty regular people. The only difference is that they have more years of education. As a highly-educated group, they are easy targets for media hypes." 
 
Netizen 'Shanxi Netizen' said that education and relationship are two parallel lines. "There are people who get married right after high school education. It is personal issues. Not marrying won't hurt the society." 
 
In China, where marriage at a young age has long been the norm, women who remain unattached in their prime often find themselves under pressure to seek a husband. 
 
In recent years, the media has been buzzing with stories about urban single women with high education backgrounds and high income, who are known as "shengnv" which translates as "leftover women." 
 
Although the number of men unable to find a partner for marriage is known to be a major social time bomb, the issue of leftover women has garnered more media attention. 
 
The All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) defines leftover women as single women above the age of 27. The Chinese Ministry of Education included the term in its official lexicon in 2007. 
 
In a survey of 30,000 men, more than 90 percent said women should marry before 27 to avoid becoming unwanted, according to an ACWF survey. 
 
In a culture like China's, where mainstream society continues to attach great importance to establishing a family, most people would expect women to marry early, and more importantly, to given birth to a child to carry on the family name, Li Yinhe, a renowned sexologist, says. 
 
"Many Chinese people, especially the elderly, would consider the choice of stay single an act of being unfilial," she explains. "Those who see single life as bliss are in a small minority, and most single women are looking for an end to their single lives," added Li. 
 
Li believes that there will be a growing tolerance toward leftover women in Chinese society, and that women will become more comfortable with being unattached. 
 
"Pluralism is the trend of social development, I hope that there will be a day where people are allowed to live their life the way they want without others picking on them. At that time, being single will not be seen as an issue any more," said Li. 
 
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