Unmarried and without a man? You just might be a leftover woman

Vintage 70s fashion afro woman. White shirt and jeans against brown background.

A woman of a certain age who has never been married and does not have a man of her own is most likely a leftover woman.

I can almost hear you ask… Who on earth is a leftover woman? 

Read on to find out more…

In an article that appeared on the BBC News website, it was said that the term Leftover women was used in China to describe older women who are still unmarried. This term was specifically targeted at those women who chose to focus on their career at the expense of marriage.

To tell the truth, it isn’t just China that looks down on it’s unmarried women, lots of other societies to that as well and Nigeria is no exception. But what really stood out were the ages of the so-called leftover women: 27 and above. So if you were in China and you hit the ripe old age of 27 and were focused on your career instead of a husband, then you fell into the category of a leftover woman and were officially an embarrassment to your family.

While this might sound ludicrous and unbelievable, the truth of the matter is that a woman should not be judged by her marital status no matter how old she is. Yet we all know that isn’t the case. And to make it worse, women are often the harshest critics of other women. We tend to look at unmarried women with suspicion especially if they are anywhere near our husbands. We look down on them and act condescendingly towards them.  A lot of us are guilty of this.

We are not talking about equal rights here or women’s rights (there’s a place and time for that); neither are we talking about a woman’s choice to get married or not (even though we probably should); we want to know why unmarried women are given such a hard time?

Why does it seem like society has no place for a woman outside the home of a father or a husband?

Share your thoughts?

You can read the BBC article here.

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