(Yicai Global) March 8 -- China should protect the right of single women to give birth amid the nation’s falling birthrate and aging population, participants in the country’s key annual policy-setting meetings have suggested.
The government should give single women who are willing to have children the same rights and welfare as married women, Huang Xihua, a deputy to the National People's Congress and an official from the city of Huizhou in Guangdong province, put forward.
China's birthrate dropped to the lowest in six decades last year. Some 10.6 million babies were born and the mainland's population growth was 480,000, the lowest since 1962, according to official statistics. The country also has an aging population as 14.2 percent of citizens are aged 65 or above.
Hua Yawei, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and and director of the Henan Supervisory Commission, proposed that the government allow healthy women over 30 years old, married or unmarried, to freeze eggs and allow fertility treatments such as artificial insemination and in-vitro fertilization for unmarried and childless women aged 30 and above.
Existing regulations prohibit unmarried women from giving birth by artificial means.
Society should be more tolerant of having children without the need for marriage and children born out of wedlock should be treated equally in household registration, education and medical treatment, according to Jin Li, a CPPCC member and head of the National Center for Financial Research at Peking University.
The government must pay attention to the social risks from disregarding the value of marriage, but it should also ensure that unmarried women who want to give birth get the same treatment as their married counterparts, Dong Yuzheng, a population expert and head of the Guangdong Academy of Population Development, told Yicai Global.
Editor: Tom Litting