Despite being one of the four Asian Dragons and a super-power with glitzy skyscrapers and one of the highest per capita GDPs in the world, Singapore, until recently, had a few unexpectedly traditional family-based policies.

Policies on housing allowance were based on “normal” families, with the characteristics of a “normal” family being rooted in “Asianness”.  Age and male gender were given power and authority, while girls were “raised to be women” and “boys to be men”!

Although, married couples were given priority when it came to housing, unmarried women could get on the housing list, too, so long as they were willing to live with 3 other women, one of whom had to be over 40 – and was thus considered a “confirmed spinster”!!

In order to raise the birth rate, young couples were offered bridging loans that enabled them to have a home of their own, and thus they were encouraged to marry younger and start a family earlier.

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