China’s Leftover Women

In China, people believe that an “unmarried woman is an incomplete woman”, which is why some parents often take their child to ‘marriage markets’ in an attempt to find a suitable partner on their son or daughter.

These markets see parents of unmarried children put up signs and displays, revealing age, weight, income and occupation in a bid to find a suitable partner.

One of the single girls in the clip describes the process as “selling your daughter”, and that being single as an adult is the “biggest disrespect” to your family.

The parents of an unmarried daughter went so far as to blame her looks as the reason for her unmarried status.

In a country where over 90 percent of women get married by the time they are 30, state broadcaster China Central Television claims, sheng nu are heavily stigmatized within smaller family communities as well as by larger social forces. The Chinese Ministry of Education listed the term sheng nu as an official word in its dictionary in 2007.


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