I am going to reprint this article in its entirety because it’s pretty interesting and so you will know I didn’t leave anything out. This is from today’s issue of The Nation, one of Bangkok’s two English language newspapers:
Thai women staying singleIt's well known that Thai parents are like their peers in other Asian countries. Their children's future is at the top of their agenda, and they take it as their solemn duty to provide their offspring with the best education possible.
They pay a lot of attention to their children's life partners and to their grandchildren, and their care-giving lasts up to the very final day of their lives.
But it seems that as the years have gone by, children, particularly the females, have embarked on a mission to relieve their parents from worry.
The National Statistical Office says that more and more women are deciding to stay single. And as Thailand is not that receptive to the single-mother concept, that means the more unmarried women, the fewer new children.
The office's latest statistics are quite interesting. Women of child-bearing age, 15 to 49 years, number 18.7 million. While only 6.1 million live in urban areas, 37.2 per cent of these are single. More interestingly, Bangkok has the highest percentage of single women, 41.8 per cent.
What do these figures show?
Bangkok has a reputation as a big city in which most workers have white-collar jobs. Obviously, they earn more than those working with their backs turned to the sun. Now that they earn more, they can follow a more independent lifestyle - spending their hard-earned money on whatever they like.
Unsurprisingly, an executive with the Mall Group said that of all the departments in a department store, Cosmetics showed the highest growth rate in terms of sales. Despite dismal economic circumstances, first-half Cosmetics Department sales jumped more than 20 per cent against average growth of some 10 per cent for all departments.
Even though few women have better jobs than the men, more and more women are becoming more prosperous in their particular occupations. Unlike in some countries - such as Chile, where women earned 19 per cent less than men in 2003 and where the gap was nearly 40 per cent in jobs requiring a high level of education - Thai women can study to as high a level as they want and reach for any job they can dream of.
It seems it's no longer applicable to use the phrase "Boys like to learn, girls like to play at tea parties" in regard to Thai women. Women can be as serious as men when it comes to work, if not more serious.
To married people, nothing could ever be better than an independent life in which they need not worry about others' feelings. And more and more single women are of the same opinion. Getting married means building a family, usually with one or more children. Obviously, they do not want to end up with the same worries that their mothers had for them.
Notice anything that was left out? Right. That is the elephant in the living room here in Bangkok, sometimes known as the sex capital of the world.