Independent Lens "Leftover Women"

Independent Lens "Leftover Women"

Mon, 02/10/2020 - 10:00pm - 11:00pm

Photo: Publicity photo

Credit: Provided by Independent Lens

Meet three Chinese women labeled "leftover," a derogatory term for unmarried women in their mid-20s and 30s.

Independent Lens "Leftover Women" airs Monday, February 10, 2020 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV. The film follows these three successful Chinese women -- Qiu Hua Mei, a 34-year-old lawyer; Xu Min, 28, who works in public radio; and Gai Qi, 36, an assistant college professor in Beijing -- who, despite thriving careers, are still labeled "leftover women," or sheng nu, a derogatory term used in China to describe educated, professional women in their mid-20s and '30s who are not married. 

With 30 million more men than women in China, a severe demographic imbalance resulting from the One Child Policy, social stability is under threat. As single women search for “Mr. Right”, they struggle to stay true to their personal and professional ambitions, while dealing with pressure from their families, friends, and a government that launched a state-sponsored campaign to stigmatize unwed women. Though methods may differ, societal pressure for women to marry exists in every culture. From awkward singles mixers to marriage markets for parents, as well as dealing with differing views of marriage and relationships within families and from potential partners, the struggle for these women to find true love and true happiness seems more elusive than ever.