Asian Women Refusing Marriage - The Effects Of Saying "No"

Why are the women of China, to India, to Thailand, to Japan and Korea, giving up on home and family?


These two articles from The Economist are both long and excellent, with lots of graphs and in-depth reporting, so I won't keep you from reading them by writing a wordy post.

The first article is more of an over view of what's going on with half the world's women. The second one is more in-depth, exploring all the possibilities, and, an especially nice touch, refusing to consider Asia as a uniform giant, instead recognizing there are several different traditional patterns of marriage, multiple attitudes towards women's education, contraception use, and women's roles as the baseline.


The decline of Asian marriage
Asia's lonely hearts Women are rejecting marriage in Asia.
The social implications are serious

"Asian governments have long taken the view that the superiority of their family life was one of their big advantages over the West. That confidence is no longer warranted. They need to wake up to the huge social changes happening in their countries and think about how to cope with the consequences."

The flight from marriage
Asians are marrying later, and less, than in the past. This has profound implications for women, traditional family life and Asian politics

"The Asian avoidance of marriage is new, and striking. Only 30 years ago, just 2% of women were single in most Asian countries. The share of unmarried women in their 30s in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong has risen 20 points or more (see chart below), “a very sharp change in a relatively short period”, says Gavin Jones of the National University of Singapore. In Thailand, the number of women entering their 40s without being married increased from 7% in 1980 to 12% in 2000. In some cities, rates of non-marriage are higher: 20% among women aged 40-44 in Bangkok; 27% among 30-34-year-olds in Hong Kong. In South Korea, young men complain that women are on “marriage strike”.


These huge changes in women's attaitudes and actions will affect those of us outside Asia as well. I hope you will take the time to get acquainted with the New Asian Woman.  Get more women-centered good reading at Women News Links.