The government is now planning to introduce “women’s notebook” （女性手帳）as one of the countermeasures to the falling birthrate. It is to promote young women learning right knowledge about their reproduction mechanism and also to encourage to give birth to a baby by the time they reach their mid 30s.
Raising children is not an easy task and there is no doubt that women should go through the process while they are still young. Besides, as they get older, their eggs get older as well and the chance of pregnancy definitely drops down. As far as educational aspect is concerned, the government attempt is understandable.
However, I’m still uncomfortable with this “women’s notebook.” For me, it seems that the government is trying to push women to take some responsibility for the declining of the birthrate. It’s not just women’s problems, though.
In the first place, what caused the birthrate to decline?
Women have been encouraged to work more in their workplace. And with the Basic Law for a Gender-Equal Society or 男女共同参画社会基本法, women are expected to occupy 30% of managerial position in various fields of the society at least by 2020. Working women’s 30s is a very important period to build their career. That’s because women have some sort of fear that they may loose the place where they are after coming back from maternity leave.
On the other hand, men seem to be less confident and less responsible for making their own family. Looking around me, girls are sometimes complaining about their boyfriend. One girl said that her boyfriend is dilly-dallying getting married because he isn’t a regular employee, even though they have been dating for many years. And another girl said that her boyfriend is indifferent talking about becoming a father. Maybe, men are not mature enough to build up their own family.
Apparently, it’s not just for women who have to tackle with the declining birthrate. Men should also get involved in it as being a good partner with women. And, one thing for sure is that we need to respect any decision that a married couple makes, whether they want to have a baby or not and when they want to have a baby. We are not living for the sake of nation’s policy.
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