Birth rate reflects women’s plight

Old Blog Import

According to a comparative study on declining birth rates in four countries (the US, Sweden, Germany, and Japan), Sweden was the only country with a high female labor participation rate as well as a high birth rate. Many Japanese and American women choose to quit their jobs. The female labor participation rate in Germany is also marked by a declining birth rate. So what are the factors underlying the simultaneous existence of a high female labor participation rate and the high birth rate in Sweden?

When Sweden needed a large number of females to join the nation’s work force during a period of economic growth in the late 1960s, the government introduced a number of female-friendly policies. The most important feature of this legislation was that the government took the initiative to get involved in child care, establishing a large number of high-quality day-nurseries at reasonable prices in the 1970s and 1980s. In addition, the government introduced insurance measures in 1974 to subsidize parents who went on paternity and maternity leave. Next, the government passed a law to reduce the working day from eight hours to six for parents with children younger than eight years of age at home.”

The Taipei Times