Fertility rate

DROP IN FERTILITY RATE DUE TO WEAK SG LABOUR LAWS AND LOW PAY

I refer to the article “Singapore’s total fertility rate dipped to 1.20 in 2016” (Straits Times, Feb 11). It states that “The new data shows 33,161 Singaporean babies were born last year, about 600 fewer than in the previous year (2015). The drop pulled down the country’s total fertility rate (TFR) to 1.20. The TFR measures the average number of children per woman. It is below the previous year’s 1.24, which is well below the 2.1 rate a population needs to achieve to replace itself.”

How many of you have seen a friend, relative or colleague suffer together with their family and children, when they lose their jobs, had substantial cuts in income or had hardly any real increase in income for years?

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EXTRA MATERNITY LEAVE WILL NOT HELP INCREASE FERTILITY RATE

Harvard professor said that giving extra maternity and childcare leave to women would never help in raising fertility rates, but instead leads to reinforcing the “gendered division of labour” in the household, where women stay at home to do housework and take care of the children while men work.

This will also leads to employers bias against hiring women, especially mothers. No need for the professor to come out and say this. For one thing, to increase fertility rate in Singapore, prices needs to be more affordable. Child care centers, prices of milk powder, diapers, all expensive, like that how to have children? Another thing, employers already have this mindset, that mothers will be more problematic when it comes to work time, compared to fathers. This happens in Asia, and of course Singapore, cannot escape from this. Thus, this mindset need to be changed first, before more women are open to raising kids.

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