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Actually, the "leftover women" phrase refers to the relationship / marital status of some women, not their job status. Many of these women (including people I know personally) have reclaimed the term as a compliment -- there's a pun where they substitute a word that roughly means god-like or badass.

My mom and both of my grandmothers lived in a world where the dual income household is the norm, and has been the norm since the 50's, but since the 80's and 90's, there has been a retrograde shift because for a while, being a stay-at-home-mom became a status symbol. However, all of my cousins, male or female, are part of dual-income households. (They all live in Shanghai.) But that's a much longer rant and off-topic to the current discussion.

But +1 to your initial point, re: effect of dual income households on the economy.

Knowing more than a handful of 20s-30s ladies in SH through my Toastmasters club, although there is selection bias, they are some of the most capable, driven, hard working, talented young people I have ever met. And I am almost 50 so have seen a bit over the years. If they were unleashed by the system and cultural expectations, norms, and restrictions, there is nothing they could not accomplish.

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