A platform for voices supporting women's rights
Each weekend, mothers, fathers and, in some cases, concerned uncles, come to a sun-dappled corner of Shanghai’s People’s Park to find Mister or Miss Right for their children.
With young Chinese told to put education and work before finding love, many struggle to find boyfriends or girlfriends, a source of deep concern for their parents in a society which emphasizes the survival of the family line.
The market has been around since 2004, says Li, who runs a professional matchmaking service from the park. With almost three times as many women looking for partners than men, it can be difficult to make a successful match.
Some write posters by hand listing their offsprings’ vital statistics — height, age, income, education and their hukou or registered hometown — and pin them to umbrellas or shopping bags. Others come with a notebook to see what is available. One mother displays a handwritten A4-sized poster in a clear plastic wallet seeking a match for her 36-year-old daughter, who works as an accountant in Toronto. The market has an “overseas corner” for parents who have children living abroad.
“There are too many leftover women in Shanghai,” one stall owner says, “Their standards are too high.” While the numbers stack up in favor of Chinese women — according to the China Statistics Bureau, there are now 34 million more men than women in China — this doesn’t mean they will pair up easily…”There’s a shortage of superior men.”