Working moms struggling to balance jobs and family life2019-03-08

  • A boy hugs his mother tightly as he only has three minutes to meet her when the train parks on the platform in Hehang Station, Central China's Hunan province, Feb 10, 2018. [Photo/VCG]
Pressures could result in problems further down the line. Li Hongyang reports.

In 2016, the government introduced the second-child policy, which allowed every couple to have two children. The move was aimed at reversing the decline in the nation's workforce.

However, as the policy really begins to have an impact, women who want to have a second child are subject to greater pressure from both employers and families, according to experts and employment market reports.

Those pressures may result in fewer women entering the job market, which could prompt an economic slowdown, they said.

Data from the World Bank show that the participation rate of China's female labor force was 73.2 percent in 1990, but fell to 60.9 percent last year-still above the global average.
  • A mother pumps breast milk for her baby at a storeroom of her company in Dongguan, South China’s Guangdong province, May 8, 2016. [Photo/VCG]
Huang Qian, a professor of economics and demographics at Nankai University in Tianjin, said the decline began in the 1990s.
  • Zou Xiaorong, a 51-year-old food delivery woman, works till midnight to save money for her son, who suffers from uremia. Photo taken on March 5, 2019. [Photo/VCG]
Last year, after her second child celebrated her third birthday and started attending kindergarten, Dai went back to work, at a website that organizes playgroup activities.
  • A boy applies makeup on his mother at a kindergarten in Nantong, East China’s Jiangsu province, March 6, 2019. [Photo/VCG]
The report was conducted in 2016, the year the decades-old family planning policy was scrapped.

Also, some companies will not provide training for employees who fall pregnant, or promote them. Some companies even force pregnant workers to resign, the report said.

It noted that about 51 percent of urban females with two children would be willing to give up their careers and focus on their families.

The figure was 17 percentage points higher than for women with one child who held the same opinion.

In addition to the low number of opportunities available to working mothers, many are worried about their ability to strike a work-family balance, the report said.
  • Tang Xiaoyun works at a factory in Hezhou, South China’s Guagnxi Zhuang autonomous region, March 4, 2019. [Photo/VCG]
External commitments

A report published last year by the recruitment website Zhaopin showed that 30.6 percent of mothers are worried that family commitments will not allow them to devote sufficient energy to their work.

Xu Huiying, a 30-year-old teacher and mother of two, doesn't think she could cope without the help provided by her parents and parents-in-law.
  • A nurse takes care of a bay in NICU at a hospital in Taizhou, East China’s Jiangsu province, March 8, 2019. [Photo/VCG]
The low female employment rate may also cause gender inequity because women would have lower status in the family and in society, he added.

He urged the government to take measures to reduce the conflict between work and caring for children to prevent the number of female workers from falling too drastically.
  • Guests give a round applause to performers at a reception marking International Women's Day in the Great Hall of the People on Thursday in Beijing. [Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]
  • A boy hugs his mother tightly as he only has three minutes to meet her when the train parks on the platform in Hehang Station, Central China's Hunan province, Feb 10, 2018.