Young women not motivated to get married and give birth

By DS   February 14, 2024 | 03:32 pm PT
The high cost of maintaining a family and the public’s general respect for men over women is discouraging many young women from getting married, let alone giving birth.

Fertile women in Vietnam gave birth to an average of 1.95 children last year, down from 2.01 the previous year and below the 2.1 replacement rate.

HCMC’s birth rate of 1.27 children per woman was the country’s lowest.

The United Nations has warned that Vietnam’s population will shrink to 3.6 million in 2500 with the current birth rate. So how can we pick up the rate?

I think young people do not want to have many children because the cost of raising one is too much. But before this, the unfair relationship between husband and wife in many Vietnamese families, due to the traditional men’s preference, discourages women from getting married in the first place.

Imagine a well-educated woman with a good career who is enjoying her life in all the ways she likes. Then she gets married, she has to cut back on her job ambitions, get rid of some personal habits, suffer the inconvenience of getting pregnant and giving birth, and not receive as much sympathy or sharing from her husband or his family.

This is not a dream life.

Then let’s say she has a happy marriage with an understanding husband, it costs a huge sum of money to raise a child, including good food, good healthcare and quality education, until the child has their own job, which is a bigger challenge these days given automation and competition from AI.

Many couples who decide to have children stop at one.

In order to encourage young people to have more children, the government should offer long-term support until a child is 16 or 18 years old.

The job market should be improved to give people more opportunities to secure their financial stability.

There should also be action to promote gender equality, such as regulations about a husband’s responsibility in terms of housework, and policies to guarantee the rights of women, such as longer maternal leave.

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