How developed nations can improve fertility rate or child birth rate?
How developed nations can improve fertility rate?
With advancement and technology, old problems tend to go away and new problems take birth. Today, many developed nations like Germany, Austria, Singapore, Japan are suffering from the new problem of low fertility rate or birth rate.
The low fertility rate of these countries is mainly contributed by people becoming more career conscious, individual oriented, success driven, more contraceptive choices available and increasing awareness and ease about these contraceptives.
It is commonly seen that when child is born in a family, the mother is the one who takes the main role of caretaker and nurturer. However, with advancement of nations, most of these women are engaged in full time careers. The sudden change in the job scope from highly functional business woman to home bound mother might not sound appealing or even least attractive to these women. These women have found glamor, money and success in external world and they might not be willing to relinquish it for the gift of motherhood.
So, the core issue of low fertility rate lies in the inherent disadvantage to educated, career oriented, working women. Hence, in order to solve this problem, it requires some social policies that can help to eradicate this difference and give them equal, unbiased standing to men. This can make the world a better place for men and women and improve the fertility rate. Here, is my suggestion on what type of policies might be beneficial to increase birth rate or fertility rate:
1. By increasing paternal leaves and making it mandatory. Paternal leave or father's leave when child is born need to be increased and gradually made equal to maternity leave. This will help fathers to play a significant role in child's life too. It will help to jump start the parenting with equal footing and provide both parents to equally enjoy parenthood. When women enjoy parenting, they will eventually bear more children and contribute to improved fertility rate.
2. By rewarding new parents in terms of career growth or increase in salary. It is a common notion at workplace that new parents, specially mothers, tend to focus on child and career takes a back seat. Hence, it is very essential for social policies to help new parents by giving them incentives in terms of salary, career growth and thus, help to balance the transition. Couples who want children but are sidelined by thinking about the bad effects to career growth, will enjoy such new incentives.
3. By making marriages strong and giving single parents financial security in case of divorce. Today, when most countries are marking their highest divorce rates, most women don't feel safe. It is important for the social policies to favor strong and everlasting marriages where both men and women feel safe and content. When the marriage is stable and long lasting, most couples will think of giving birth to children. Secondly, if the marriage fails, single parents need financial and emotional security to manage children and carry on with their lives. These social policies can give them safety and security to new parents when starting families and giving birth to children. Finally, it can lead to improved fertility rate of the country with improved social policy.
4. By making child care costs free. Any new parent who has sent their child to child care or day care center will agree that the costs of child care can be quite significant. It can be quite a big part of medium earner's salary in case of two or more children. If developed nations want to increase birth rate, subsidizing or making the child care costs free will be a great help to new parents.
These are some of the ideas which might help to improve the fertility rate of developed nations. Further research needs to be done to understand the positives and negatives of each idea before implementing it into the policy and finally, running the policy in the system. I hope all nations facing the problem of low fertility rate can improve it and bring it to desirable level.