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Subject: Rising Costs of Childbearing Force More Women Give Up Having Second Child
Category: 国内
Time: February 24, 2017
Source: China Women's News
Keyword: two-child policy, second child
Full text:
In order to better understand women's willingness to have a second child, Heilongjiang Women's Federation carried out a four-month-long investigation on the impact of the universal 'two-child' policy on working women in 2016.

The research comprised of 1,027 questionnaires collected from 710 working mothers and 400 employers in 13 cities and two counties in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. A further field investigation was also carried out in Jiamusi and Qitaihe in the province.

The higher the earnings, the higher the willingness to try for a second child

Findings show that social policy, the economy, family, work and other individual factors are the main considerations affecting career women's choice to have a second child.

Personal factors, including age, educational background, health condition and whether or not they are the 'only-child' in their family also affect women's choices. However, the rising costs of childbearing and the huge economic burden it brings are the largest contributors for families to giving up having a second baby, accounting for 70.5 percent of the total surveyed.

In addition, women's physical health is another key factor affecting their fertility and decision to have a second child.

According to the survey, "enjoying the company of siblings" (84.4 percent), "easing pension pressures" (39.9 percent) and "loving kids" (32.6 percent) are the top three reasons for working women to have a second child.

Results also show that professional women with higher earnings, better economic situations and stronger abilities are more inclined to have a second child.

However, around 46.8 percent of professional women still believe that having a second child will affect their career development, said the survey.

Having a second child will affect women's professional competitiveness

Due to the unreasonable gender division of labor in the family and imperfect fertility support system in the country, the choice to have a second child can have many negative influences on women's career development. These include:

- Changes in physiological functions after childbirth and heavy family care burdens often don't allow women to concentrate on their work completely.

- The interruption of work due to pregnancy makes women lose many career development opportunities.

- Women's basic labor rights and interests could be damaged during the pregnancy and perinatal period, hindering women's legal rights of equal employment.

- Challenges for women to balance the relationship between family and work force them to reduce their career development goals.

Experts' Suggestions

Therefore, experts appeal to the authorities to address these problems through the following measures:

- Improving employment promotion policies and protecting the equal employment rights of working women.

- Perfecting the system of maternity insurance and strengthening the welfare of two-child families.

- Improving public service facilities so as to meet the actual needs of career women.

- Strengthening policy publicity so as to create a good environment conducive to the implementation of the universal 'two-child' policy.
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