It seems like a harmless word, doesn’t it? But according to The New York Times, it is anything but. “In 2007, China’s Women’s Federation defined ‘leftover women‘ (sheng nu) as unmarried women over the age of 27.” And this isn’t some random pados wali aunty; it’s a state agency that is tasked with protecting the rights of women.
And now, two companies in China have rolled out ‘dating leave’ for these women
Hangzhou Songcheng Performance and Hangzhou Songcheng Tourism Management have told their single female employees over 30 that they will be given 8 days of leave to find love. This holiday is over and above the week-long Lunar New Year off.
The Telegraph UK reported that an HR professional in one of these firms gave this reasoning behind the initiative:
“Female employees mostly work in internal functional departments, and some are show performers. They have less contact with the outside world; thus we hope to give more leave to them to give them more time and opportunities to be in contact with the opposite sex.”
Can this time off really help unmarried women?
The announcement only pertains to non-frontline employees. The company HR teams say that employees are happy with the initiative. The decision has come in the wake of the fact that more and more women in China are pursuing their careers. As opposed to more traditional roles of being a housewife or stay-at-home-mother. A few are even choosing to not marry altogether.
Only time will tell if this ‘dating leave’ actually has a positive impact on unmarried female employees (and their relationships).