Xi to China's Women: Time for a 'New Trend of Family'

Leader's speech to state-run women's rights group urges women to focus on 'family harmony'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2023 10:45 AM CDT
Xi to China's Women: Get to Making Babies
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 9, 2021.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

It's not enough for women to work on their own development, according to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who said Monday that women must also strive toward "family harmony, social harmony, national development, and national progress," in large part by having children. He urged women to establish a "new trend of family" as China and many other countries confront an aging population and declining birth rate, per Reuters. In comments published by state broadcaster CCTV, Xi urged the All China Women's Federation, a state-sponsored women's rights group, to "actively cultivate a new marriage and childbirth culture [and] strengthen guidance of young people's views on marriage, parenthood, and family, as well as promote policies to support childbirth," per Bloomberg.

Many young Chinese women say they don't want to get married or have children. For some, these decisions are personal. Others cite high child-care costs, job pressures, and gender discrimination. China has unveiled various measures to increase its birth rate since formally abandoning its one-child policy in 2016, "including financial incentives and boosting childcare facilities," per Reuters. But they haven't been as effective as the Communist Party would like. Xi's address to the All China Women's Federation echoed a speech he gave to the group in 2018, urging members to "help women better deal with the relationship between family and work," per Bloomberg. This address, however, "appeared to emphasize Xi's increasing focus on a more traditional, domestic role for women." (More Xi Jinping stories.)

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