Pro­vin­cial Ef­forts to Boost Birth Rate Mis­placed

NewsChina - - NEWS BRIEF -

In re­sponse to China's low birth rate many prov­inces and re­gions in­clud­ing Liaon­ing, Shaanxi, Hubei and Xin­jiang, have is­sued var­i­ous poli­cies to en­cour­age child­birth, such as pro­long­ing paid ma­ter­nity leave and grant­ing ma­ter­nity al­lowances.

China lifted its ban on hav­ing a sec­ond baby on Jan­uary 1, 2016, only to find that the birth rate did not rise as ex­pected. Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Bureau of Statis­tics, China saw 17.23 mil­lion ba­bies born in 2017, 630,000 fewer than in 2016.

Yet, as the poli­cies gen­er­ally re­late to ma­te­rial en­cour­age­ment, an­a­lysts doubt if they will truly have an im­pact. Ex­perts say a for­bid­ding en­vi­ron­ment for moms and moms-to-be, which in­cludes em­ploy­ment dis­crim­i­na­tion, lit­tle re­spect for stay-at-home moms and a lack of baby-care fa­cil­i­ties in pub­lic places, has con­trib­uted to the de­clin­ing birth rate. On Au­gust 8, the Party-run Peo­ple’s Daily pub­lished a com­men­tary in its over­seas edi­tion urg­ing the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment to set up an over­all, sys­temic in­sti­tu­tion to en­cour­age women to have more ba­bies.

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