“Sheng nu” (“leftover women”) is a term used to describe single women who are 27 or older in China. Most of these women live in cities and lead rewarding professional lives. The term was coined in 2007 by a government organization responsible for the protection and promotion of women’s rights and policies. That same year, the Ministry of Education added “sheng nu” to the official lexicon.
In this Op-Doc, based on the Independent Lens feature documentary “Leftover Women,” we follow one of those women — Qiu Huamei, contending with the stigma and social pressure forcing her to go on a grueling quest in search of a husband. She grew up in a small village five hours south of Beijing and is the second youngest of five sisters. Ms. Qiu is a successful lawyer, fluent in English and opinionated — but those qualities do not outweigh one key flaw: She is not married.