Taiwan lawmaker under fire for spinster comments

AP News
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Posted: Mar 23, 2012 5:10 AM
Taiwan lawmaker under fire for spinster comments

A Taiwanese lawmaker has come under fire for blaming the large number of spinsters on the island on men who marry foreign women.

Lawmaker Chang Hsiao-feng said Thursday that many Taiwanese women were stripped of the opportunity "to be loved by men" because of the 460,000 foreign spouses in Taiwan.

Scores of human rights activists and foreign spouses protested Friday outside the legislature.

The protesters said Chang's comments reflected unwarranted social stigma against unmarried women. They derided them as racist, because many of the foreign spouses come from poor countries in Southeast Asia.

Better education and rising gender equality have sent marriage rates plummeting in Taiwan. Only 51 percent of women over 20 are married, down from 75 percent in the 1980s.