China launches projects to build ‘new era’ marriage and childbearing culture

HONG KONG: China will launch pilot projects in more than 20 cities to create a “new era” marriage and childbearing culture to foster an environment conducive to childbearing, the latest move by authorities to boost the drop in the rate of childbearing. birth rate in the country.
Chinese Family Planning AssociationA national body that implements the government’s population and fertility measures, will launch the projects to encourage women to marry and have children, the state-backed Global Times reported on Monday.
Promoting marriage, having children at the appropriate age, encouraging parents to share parenting responsibilities, and reducing high “bride prices” and other outdated customs are central to the plans, the Times said.
Cities included in the pilot include the manufacturing hub of Guangzhou and Handan in the Chinese province of Hebei. The association has already launched projects in 20 cities including Beijing last year, the Times reported.
“Society needs to better guide young people on the concept of marriage and childbirth,” demographer He Yafu told The Times.
The projects are part of a series of measures that Chinese provinces are putting in place to encourage people to have children, including tax incentives, housing subsidies and free or subsidized education to have a third child.
China implemented a rigid one-child policy from 1980 to 2015 – the root of many of its demographic challenges that helped India become the most populous nation in the world. The limit has since been raised to three children.
Concerned about China’s first population decline in six decades and its rapid aging, government policy advisers proposed in March that single, unmarried women should have access to egg freezing and IVF treatment, among other services, to boost the country’s fertility rate.
Many women have been pushed back from having more children or not at all due to childcare costs and the disruption of their careers, with gender discrimination remaining a major obstacle.


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