Source：Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date：2017-3-14-
Xu Xiao, a lawmaker to the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), from central China's Henan Province, made a proposal on supporting policies to promote the universal two-child policy at a panel discussion on March 6.
Despite the introduction of China's universal two-child policy last year, women of childbearing age are still hesitant to give birth, according to Xu. Her survey indicates that the major reasons stopping couples include the heavy financial burden and lack of time for childcare.
Since maternity insurance is currently not mandatory for employees, the contribution rate is only 21.4 percent, said Xu.
Also, she claimed that having inadequate public childcare institutions and services may hinder female citizens' career development. "The situation is worse for infants under 3 due to there being few nursing service institutions for them," added Xu.
Confronted with the current situation, Xu urged authorities to enact relevant support policies and measures, and prioritize improving the maternity insurance system.
Since maternity insurance policies varied from region to region, officials should standardize the contents, expand coverage and enhance overall planning levels, Xu suggested.
Xu also suggested establishing and improving public nursing institutions and services for infants as soon as possible, thereby encouraging households to expand and couples to have bigger families.