Xi Jinping's advise to China's women on family
Chinese president Xi Jinping said that women have a critical role to play in establishing a "new trend of family", as the country faces the challenge of an ageing population and record decline in the birth rate. In comments published on state news agency Xinhua, Xi Jinping said that the role of women had been part of a discussion with the new leadership team of the All China Women's Federation- operating under the Communist Party.
Xi Jinping said that doing a good job in women's work is not only related to women's own development but also related to “family harmony, social harmony, national development and national progress” as it is necessary to “actively cultivate a new culture of marriage and childbearing and strengthen guidance on young people's view on marriage, childbirth and family.”
Experts believe that factors including high childcare costs, career hindrance, gender discrimination and not wanting to get married have stopped many young Chinese women from having children.
In January, China's National Bureau of Statistics reported the first population drop in six decades and that the country's population is rapidly ageing. The number of births in China tumbled 10% last year to hit their lowest level on record. China had just 9.56 million births in 2022, according to a report published by the National Health Commission- lowest since records began in 1949.
Domestic demographers lament that China will get old before it gets rich, slowing the economy as revenues drop and government debt increases. China's one-child policy imposed between 1980 and 2015 has also been blamed for the low birth rates in the country as nearly 40% of Chinese newborns last year were the second child of a married couple, while 15% were from families with three or more children.
Beijing has also rolled out measures to increase childcare as well as financial incentives.