Malaysian women are choosing to stay single

malaysian women
Image adapted from: Malaysia Women Marathon

Women’s fight for equality has always been a long-term struggle that’s been seeing its fair share of success.  But an ongoing setback women still face today is outdated perceptions and stereotypes, as seen by a recent study done on Malaysian women.

The study was initially shared on Sinar Harian before it was also covered by Vocket. The findings from the study concluded that almost 2 million of Malaysian women who are above 30 in Selangor and Johor are unmarried. After Vocket repeatedly compared the statistics between men and women, netizens took to Twitter to voice their opinions on the matter.

An alarming number of unmarried women

The news piece by Voket first introduces single women above the age of 30 as “anak dara tua” in Malay or “old virgins” when translated. While not exactly PC in this day and age, it’s a common phrase used by traditional communities where there it is still largely believed that a woman’s duty lies in caring for her husband and children. 

A traditional wedding
Image credit: @pzphotoworks

The articles go on to compare the statistics between men and women, citing the disparity between the 2. It was stated that for those above the age of 30, there are about 1 million unmarried women in Selangor as compared to only 148,000 single men. The same was said about Johor’s population where there are 636,537 single women and only 104,416 single men. 

The article ends by saying that the reasons behind these findings have not been given, though it is clear that there is a big difference between the number of unmarried women and unmarried men of the same age. 

Women on Twitter clarify their reasons for staying single

In response to the write-up, Malaysian women have been taking to Twitter to voice their opinions and share the possible reasons why there is a growing number of unmarried women in the country. 

A Twitter user who goes by the name of @bekalmom responded with a strong first statement, “women can live without men”. She continues to say that women have everything they need to survive on their own, from basic survival skills to qualities like tolerance. She emphasises that if a woman were to get married, it should only be because she wants to. 

Twitter comment (1)
Image adapted from: @bekalmom

Her sentiments resounded with Malaysians everywhere, garnering 16,000 likes and retweets in just 2 days. 

Another netizen, @nisarcastic, shared that there is more to a woman’s life than getting married and having children.

Twitter comment (2)
Image adapted from: @nisarcastic

Hakim was one of the few men in the thread who was able to understand where women were coming from. He said that most women in their 30s would already own a car and have the finances for a house, so they wouldn’t feel like they need a man. 

He also shared that a woman’s past experiences may also be a factor, such as coming from a divorced family or a traumatic experience with an ex. 

Twitter comment (3)
Image adapted from: @_almanshur

Women have the freedom to choose

Women's Day poster
Image credit: @freakinsunshine

Time and time again, women find themselves having to assert their right and freedom to lead their lives however they want. While it’s certainly not ideal, it’s heartening to see Malaysians come together to challenge existing notions on how a woman should act. 

With Women’s Day coming up, we hope that more awareness can be raised regarding some of the issues women regularly face while celebrating the movement. 

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