Woman Agenda can increase birth rate?
Japan´s low birth rate is becoming a serious issue. Among 29 countries whose population is more than 400 million, Japan has the lowest child population of 13.2%. So the government is now discussing to make young Japanese women to have a booklet called “Josei Techou (女性手帳/ Woman Agenda) to teach them the mechanism of women body to produce babies.
This education is only for women. As men can have children when their 60th, it doesn´t seem to be an issue. I wonder what would Japanese women think about this agenda. Then I´ve found an article of a Japanese woman, Chikirin. See what she says.
Women´s life planning isn´t organized enough?
Japan´s declining birth rate is getting more serious and the government is talking about making “woman agenda” for young women as a measure.
The Japanese government on the 7th of May held a meeting, “Task force to overcome declining birth rate” and discussed about introducing a “woman agenda” for young women to teach them about pregnancy and childbirth. This measure is to prevent recent tendency of late marriage and childbirth and any objection arose in the meeting.
The aim of “woman agenda” is young Japanese women to understand “the suitable age for getting married and having children” and helps women to make a life plan. It was the sub team of this meeting who has been discussing profoundly about encouraging women to get pregnant and to have children.
There is an appropriate age for pregnancy is something we should know. But I wonder why “only women” to plan their life.
To begin with, declining chid birth is caused by women not thinking about their future is completely opposite to the reality. This is happening as a result of “women thinking so serious about their future”. Now the government want them to have an agenda. What else more can women plan their life?
Mostly are women who ask questions like, “is it possible to manage both work and family?”, “do employees can have maternity leave?” or “do you have any support for nursery service?” at a job interview. They are thinking so much about their future since they are young.
After investing the actual society and thinking a lot, Japanese women reached a conclusion “career first” and as a result they postpone having children a little later.
I have to admit that women have not enough knowledge of the relationship between the age and pregnancy. However this doesn´t mean the government can make this issue more complicated by forcing only women to “think carefully”. I think it´s harsh. I rather think they should force men to have this agenda since they are the ones who don´t think much.
Even if the knowledge about the pregnancy mechanism spread into young women, as far as I see, it´s rather men than women who can´t be ready to be a parent.
I personally think that once women understand that higher their age is more difficult to get pregnant, more of them start to think “first giving birth and child-care then career”.
In fact, there are more women who start their career after being a housewife for 10 or 15 years. Nowadays, people work until 70 years old, then it´s not too late to start their career at age 35.
They can continue studying while rising kids. Having children earlier, start working as a part time while taking care of them and change to full-time when the children become big enough. Im sure here should be women who have chosen this type of life.
So what is the real obstacle for women when they decided to have a baby at 25? It´s the commitment from the men side to be a Dad. The number of arranged marriage is getting smaller in Japan and as a result, the age gap between a couple is getting smaller in general. Rather, in 23% of the married couples, wives are elder than the husbands. This means if a woman wants to have a baby earlier, her boyfriend or husband has to decide to have one even earlier too.
Many couples who are married in their 20th have met in the high school or university. They were in the same class or in their senior class. Not much older than the other. The question is boys in their 20th have such a guts?
Late 20th and early 30th for men is the era of career growth and also the time when they want parties. I don´t think many men are prepared to be a Dad just because their wives are at the perfect age to have a baby.
That why I think it´s better to give men the agenda. Why don´t they promote among university boys to start practicing. Once many 20 something year-old men start thinking to be a Dad, naturally women´s birth age will go down.
Anyway, when people were having arranged marriages, the age gap between a couple was quite big. This was based on the practical sense, which men got married “when they were economically established to take care of the family” and women did “when they were young enough to have babies”. Back then people weren´t as economically stabled as now and I assume that the system was made for people to “survive” and “keep the generations going” easily. Interesting.
Original article : http://d.hatena.ne.jp/Chikirin/20130512
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