What will China do next? That’s a question over which many Westerners are losing a lot of sleep, especially with the approach of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing — which some China watchers expect to be the most consequential Summer Games since Germany hosted in 1936. One thing the largest country in the world would do, if its women had their way, is become more family-friendly. That’s according to a March 7 article in ChinaDaily.com reporting on a small but telling survey by the Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions. “Women in Shanghai prefer a happy family to a successful career,” the article states before noting that 30% of the 730 respondents said a happy family was their first ideal. (In second place, not surprisingly in times of breakneck economic development, was “greater success at work.”) The article also reported that the top source of anxiety for single women in the study was the difficulty of finding a husband. Catholics around the world would do well to pray for Chinese women — most of whose family-focused wishes go unspoken and under-reported.
Illustration by Kevin Bedan