Thế Giới

China wants families to have three children. But many women aren’t convinced

There’s just one problem: women aren’t too keen on the idea.

For more than 35 years, the ruling Communist Party has strictly enforced the one-child policy, as the country tries to tackle overpopulation and alleviate poverty. But as its economy boomed, China saw an aging population and a shrinking workforce.

However, the public does not seem convinced. The official adoption of the country’s new three-child policy on Friday was met with widespread skepticism and criticism on Chinese social media, with many women expressing concern about the cost of childbirth. increased activity and gender inequality in the workplace.

Many argue that raising three children would be costly and out of reach for most urban couples, many of whom face stagnant wages, few job opportunities, and stagnation. overwork and tiring working hours.

“I don’t even want one child, let alone three,” said one comment on Weibo, China’s heavily censored Twitter-like platform, which garnered more than 51,000 likes.

While wealth inequality and overwork are problems seen around the world, in China they are exacerbated by fixed gender roles, which often place a large share of the housework. and take care of children on the shoulders of women.

“So are men entitled to paternity for their three children?” one person writes on Weibo with more than 67,000 likes. Currently, there is no national law regulating maternity leave in China.

The imbalance in parenting responsibilities means that it is difficult for women to balance work with motherhood. Since the proposed three-child policy was announced this early year, much of the debate centered on concerns that it could ultimately worsen the conditions of working women.
In recent years, many Chinese women report having to deal with Discrimination at work based on their marital or parental status, with employers often reluctant to pay maternity leave. A report by Human Rights Watch earlier this year, based on research, social media reports, news, court documents and interviews, found that women in some companies were asked to wait their turn to take maternity leave; if they get pregnant ahead of time, they may be fired or punished.
It is not surprising that many career-minded young women in China are increasingly distrusting traditions and institutions such as marriage and give birth.
“As a woman, I feel like I’m walking on an increasingly narrow path with no turning back,” a women’s rights group posted. on Weibo on Thursday, in response to the new policy.
The Communist Party has acknowledged these problems and pledged to solve them. The new amendment promises to protect women’s right to employment and says the government will work with the private sector to set up childcare facilities in public areas and workplaces, state news agency said. Xinhua News Agency.

The government will also “implement more support measures in finance, taxation, insurance, education, housing and employment to ease the burden on families,” Xinhua said.

The text of the revised family planning law has yet to be made public. Articles by Xinhua and other state media did not provide further specifics on how those protections would be implemented, such as whether there would be harsher penalties for whether employers discriminate against mothers or not.

Although some provinces and cities have introduced some of the measures that activists have called for – such as Shanghai’s introduction of 10 days of maternity leave – it is still too restrictive and far from national reform. needed to raise birth rates, some experts say.

In 2019, the nationwide birth rate reached Lowest level in the 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China; next year, the number of babies reduce Another 18%.
That means the country – the most populous in the world, with 1.4 billion inhabitants – has seen fertility rate dropped from more than five births per woman to less than two, in just 40 years. It has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, on par with Japan and South Korea, both of which are also facing demographic crises.
“If the country can’t protect women’s rights and only encourage childbearing, then 98 days or three years of maternity leave doesn’t matter – it’s the equivalent of taking away their careers.” Xu Chao says, a doctor in Shandong.

For women in China, who have struggled for so long at work and are now enjoying relatively independent lives, having more children requires enormous sacrifices – and will require more than one. simple law amendments to encourage baby booms.

US Vice President Targets China

US Vice President Kamala Harris accused China of threatening “sovereignty of nations” with its actions in the South China Sea. in a speech Tuesday of the second day of a visit to Southeast Asia.

“Beijing continues to coerce, threaten and lay claim to much of the South China Sea,” Harris said in a speech in Singapore. “The United States stands with our allies and partners in the face of these threats.”

China claims almost the entire 1.3 million square miles of the South China Sea as its sovereign territory. In recent years, Beijing has militarized several artificial islands across the vast waterway to bolster its claims, which overlap with a number of other countries, including the United States. Philippines and Vietnam. The United States regularly challenges these claims, by conducting freedom of navigation operations in the region.

Harris is visiting Singapore and Vietnam as part of a four-day tour, becoming the highest-ranking US official to visit Southeast Asia since President Joe Biden took office in January. Both the US and China are vying for influence in the region, and in a speech on Tuesday, Harris touted America’s commitment to Southeast Asia.

However, Harris’s trip has been overshadowed by the US government’s tumultuous retreat from Afghanistan, and on Monday the US vice president was forced to defend Washington’s international reputation after being in limbo with questions about evacuation.

“The reason I’m here is because the United States is a global leader, and we value that role, understanding that we have many interests and priorities around the world,” Harris said Monday.

–By Ben Westcott

Gold hunting

Xuemei Zhang, representing China in women’s wheelchair basketball, confronts a member of the Algerian team on the opening day of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. The Games begin with the opening ceremony on Tuesday night and will run through September 5 with more than 4,000 athletes expected to compete.

Chinese tech companies donate to charity as Xi calls for ‘common prosperity’

China’s big tech companies are donating billions of dollars to social causes as the government pledges to protect people from being taken advantage of by private enterprise.

E-commerce company Pinduoduo on Tuesday pledged to contribute profits from the most recent quarter – about $372 million – to the development of China’s agricultural sector and rural areas. In total, it is expected to donate 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) to such purposes.

“This is an important and challenging task, which we will invest in patiently,” said Chen Lei, President and CEO of Pinduoduo.

The decision has significant implications for the Nasdaq-listed company, which just posted its first profit as a public company for the April-June period. It also follows through on a commitment. similar philanthropic bond that internet company Tencent made last week, when it announced it would invest 50 billion yuan ($7.7 billion) to achieve Beijing’s goal of “common prosperity.” for everyone.

That phrase has historical significance in China and was used recently by President Xi Jinping when he pledged to redistribute wealth in the country. Xi’s decree puts even more pressure on the country’s richest citizens and businesses, which are already facing tougher scrutiny and regulation as Beijing takes over the power of the private sector. .

Pinduoduo’s announcement also comes as the Chinese government continues to expand its exploration of the private sector, most recently regarding how businesses interact with local governments. The country’s top anti-money-matching watchdog announced this week that its division in Hangzhou – where tech giant Alibaba is headquartered – will deal with relationship-related issues. business-government in the city.

–By Laura He

Around Asia

  • The departure of US Vice President Kamala Harris to Vietnam was delayed by several hours due to a possible incident. Havana Syndrome, has sickened hundreds of American officials in recent years.
  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would run for vice president in next year’s election, a move criticized by opponents as a ploy to keep him in power.
  • Taiwan has launched the deployment Medigen, Covid-19 vaccine homegrown on the island. It has yet to complete a phase 3 clinical trial and no efficacy data is available.


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