Gender imbalance and its consequences in Taiwan
The once imbalanced human sex ratio in Taiwan has reached an even point, that is - one male to one female in total population, according to the latest survey conducted by the Department of Statistics in 2014. And the male population will, predicted by the Department of Health, continue to decrease till the ratio hit 0.91 to 1 in year 2051. The trend seems peculiar for many people since son preference is culturally and socially acknowledged. The tradition-driven preference on baby boys, in fact, remains prevalent and distinct in Taiwan if we examine the statistics of 2014 (e.g. 1.07 male(s)/female at birth). Yet, the country has to face the new era of gender imbalance eventually while male population is diminishing naturally and the female one is, on the other hand, increasing in an artificial way.
The decreasing male population in Taiwan is attributed to the simple fact that men live shorter than women. ...view middle of the document...
Such self-destruct behaviors determine and destine the fate of diminishing male population in Taiwan.
The increasing female population, on the other hand, is a different and shorter story. In 1987, Taiwan government ratified the law on introducing foreign brides. Many men in working class and farming industry have successfully married their partners abroad, especially from Southeast Asia. The phenomenon continued to exist and, by 2005, the non-native brides consisted of 316,606 people, almost 0.6% of total population. The trend of bride immigration quarantines the formation of gender imbalance.
Gender imbalance results in issues in society. The first and the most common one pertains to a simple math question, that is – men and women would encounter difficulty of finding lawful partners as long as monogamy remains a social consensus. While “good men are hard to fine,” as claimed in many soap opera lines, women in Taiwan will face rather fierce competitions if they adhere to their standards for ideal husbands. The second issue caused by gender imbalance will be the shrinking of labor market. The stability of a labor market requires consistent participation of workforce. The increasing amount of female workers in Taiwan, however, could jeopardize such stability when they, statistically, tended to leave their working positions after marriage (25.2%) and pregnancy (50.1%). Even after giving birth, only 27.0% of them chose to return to workplace. Those decisions of quitting from labor market, voluntarily or not, cause sincere worries over economic growth in the long run.
The trend of gender imbalance in Taiwan is foreseen not only because men can neither live longer nor driver better than women but also foreign brides are being introduced. Such imbalance raises concerns over marriage ratio and labor market. The plausible solutions to the concerns can be and best be addressed from the aspect of governmental policies that enhance both men’s health and steering skills and ensure women’s enthusiasm for work. If the preceding measures win the war over gender imbalance, that is wonderful! We still have the war against gender disparity yet to fight.