France: France had an early beginning to family plans and pro natalist policies. Already in 1939 the ‘Code de la Famille’ was introduced because of the declining fertility rate in France. It had banned the sale of contraceptives which was repealed in 1967, banned abortion which was also banned until 1975, offered cash incentives to mothers who stay at home to take care of their children.
Now the addition of aging population, fertility rates and economic growth is causing the population to not only decrease but also increase in elderly. By 2050 more than 25% of France’s population will be elderly of 65+ (1). Health care for the elderly is evolving dramatically, people are less inclined to have children as the economy is strong and they prefer to spend it on luxuries, such as new cars or fancy apartments, despite the pro natalist policies. This will mean that in the future, fewer workforces will be in France to support the large and growing elderly population causing taxes to rise, rise so high that people will no longer want to immigrate to France and cause other’s to leave. This would leave France helpless and France would go into an economic crisis and failure.
France, having started early than other European country, has many benefits. In France you are permitted to have an antenatal and postnatal leave, the father may also have postnatal leave but much less than the mothers. These benefits come with regulations and restrictions, such as work hours before antenatal leave and prior notice. Pay is determined on previous salary and maximum paid is 77 euro per day. As for postnatal care, you may receive from 6 months up to 3 years depending on the amount of children you have. 3 days is the average stay at a hospital for birth, the government will pay up to 12 days.
(2) There are many types of child allowances. If a family has 2 children, 127.68 Euro is entitled to the family per month. 291,27 euro for three children and 163,59 euro for every additional child. There are other additional fees when the child passes the age of 11 and even more when past the age of 16. In case of certain financial difficulties, family support allowance of around 120 euro per month is given. The government will also help the family if the child is in need of special education for disabilities or other. Several early childhood benefits programmes also exist in France, from hired care, adoption grants, birth grants, to home-carer, childminder. All these have to be checked if they pass the regulation of income, employment rate and child number before these grants are receivable, in case people are taking advantage of these benefits when not necessary.
Again depending on your allowance and child number, school allowances are provided. Free public schools, entertainment such as parks, and university aid are also provided. Taxes are also reduced to further help families financially. Despite France having a decreasing amount of population and being one of the first countries in Europe to start family benefits, the fertility rate was up to 2.08 childbirths per woman (1), which is almost the perfect limit of 2.1 children per woman. The net immigration rate was also at 1.48 (2), and France having one of the most immigrants in the country. All these benefits might cause a problem for business, as they have to pay for more leave without getting adequate work done. With all the woman at home, for several months up to years with pay could lead to higher immigration rates, meaning there is be a stable workforce population to sustain the elderly. Yet the elderly numbers are increasing and the amount of immigration is holding up the economy for now, but maybe not in 20 to 40 years.
China:In the 1949, China was finally free from being a communist country and was now run by General Mao. After the civil war and Japanese invasion the population had decreased, as there was a higher death rate than birth rate. Mao had therefore made the pro-natalist policy, which had caused the population to almost double in size in a period of 20 to 30 years. Soon there after in 1975, Deng Xiaoping the new Chinese leader had introduced the one child policy.
The one child policy was put in place due to such dramatic population increase. This could have lead to over population, meaning the country would not be able to feed or supply the citizens. Immigration rates would go negative, as people would leave the country seeking for a place that can provide the citizens needs. This would mean the workforce would leave and eventually leading to economic failure.
The one child policy is harsh, with strict consequences from thousands of dollars of fees, to abortion pressures and even forced sterilization. Yet this policy is only focused towards urban areas, most rural areas are barely looked over. In the urban areas some people are not financially capable to pay off the penalty of having several children. Their homes get trashed, cattle and pigs stolen sometimes even children get kidnapped(3).
According to the Washington Post, some women had permission to have their second child but were then forced to sign a form for an abortion. Another woman told the Washington Post that her family had been jailed and threatened of torture and where not fed adequately. The most punishment that was heard of by the one child policy was a woman who got pregnant with another child, was then fired, had a forced abortion, and was sent to a psychiatric hospital where there were signs that she had been tortured (3). All these examples that could have travelled to other woman in China could have scared them off, leaving the country or move to the far rural areas. This would mean the men would leave with them causing workforce to leave the industrialization and go back to farming, moving the economy backwards. The only reason why China is still economically booming is because of the excess of young men.
Now that there are a lot of these non-sibling children, if two of them want to have children they are legally allowed to have two. One big problem from the one child policy was that people were now more inclined to choose the gender, boys. Nowadays the technology is so much better to first find out the gender and also to abort as soon as you find out. This is why in china; the sex ratio’s is abnormal of which 1.13 males per female are born when it is ideally 1.05 males per female (1). These large numbers of men a little woman can cause abnormal social behaviour. The lack of marriage ability and other may result in violence such as riots against certain laws or violence to the women that are left. These young men may also threaten social stability and security if no actions are taken place. In china they are kept busy most of the day working in factories or other jobs that will eventually tire them out at the end of the day. China may have to introduce gender selection regulation and laws, as well as campaigns for equal right for women and public awareness campaigns to be able to equalize these rates.(2).
Courtney from Study Moose
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