Gender equity should be promoted by public policies under the two-child policy

ZHAO Menghan1,2

(1.Center for Population and Development Studies, Renmin University of China)
(2.Population Studies Center for University of Pennsylvania)

【Abstract】Under the two-child policy, Chinese families are suffering from increasing burden of child-rearing, most of which falls on women. In this study, we emphasize that the public policies should help achieve gender equity by comparing the impacts of different institutions and polices in the developed countries on population change. Though a few policies on maternal leaves in China are from the gender perspective, they have limited effects on alleviating family members’ family-work conflicts. We suggest that the gender equity should be promoted in various public policies, including those concerning labor force participation, education of young children, and old-age support.

【Keywords】 gender equity; two-child policy; family development; public policies;


【Funds】 Outstanding Innovative Talents Cultivation Funded Programs 2014 of Renmin University of China

Download this article


    1 Anderson T and Kohler H-P. 2015. Low Fertility, Socioeconomic Development, and Gender Equity. Population and Development Review 3: 381–407.

    2 Alesina A, Giuliano P and Nunn N. 2013. On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 2: 469–530.

    3 Becker G S. 1991. A Treatise on the Family. Harvard University Press.

    4 Brewster K L and Rindfuss R R. 2000. Fertility and Women’s Employment in Industrialized Nations. Annual Review of Sociology 26: 271–296.

    5 Cherlin A J. 2016. A Happy Ending to a Half–Century of Family Change. Population and Development Review 1: 121–129.

    6 Esping–Andersen, Gsta and Francesco C. Billari. 2015. Re-theorizing Family Demographics. Population and Development Review 1: 1–31.

    7 Goldscheider, Frances, Eva Bernhardt and Trude Lappegrd. 2015. The Gender Revolution: A Framework for Understanding Changing Family and Demographic Behavior. Population and Development Review 2: 207–39.

    8 Lacalle-Calderon M, Perez-Trujillo M and Neira I. 2016. Fertility and Economic Development: Quantile Regression Evidence on the Inverse J-shaped Pattern. European Journal of Population. doi: 10. 1007/s10680016-9382-4.

    9 Lesthaeghe R. 2010. The Unfolding Story of the Second Demographic Transition. Population and Development Review 2: 211–251.

    10 Matysiak A, Mencarini L and Vignoli D. 2016. Work-Family Conflict Moderates the Relationship Between Childbearing and Subjective Well-Being. European Journal of Population 3: 355–379.

    11 McDonald P. 2000. Gender Equity in Theories of Fertility Transition. Population and Development Review 3: 427–439.

    12 Myrskyla M, Kohler H-P and Billari F C. 2009. Advances in Development Reverse Fertility Declines. Nature 460: 741–743.

    13 Rindfuss R R, Choe M K and Brauner–Otto S R. 2016. The Emergence of Two Distinct Fertility Regimes in Economically Advanced Countries. Population Research and Policy Review 3: 287–304.

    14 Roeters A, Mandemakers J J and Voorpostel M. 2016. Parenthood and Well-Being: The Moderating Role of Leisure and Paid Work. European Journal of Population 3: 381–401.

    15 Stevenson B and Wolfers J. 2007. Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces. The Journal of Economic Perspectives 2: 27–52.

    16 Wu Xiaogang, Ye Hua and He Gloria Guangye. 2014. Fertility Decline and Women’s Status Improvement in China. Chinese Sociological Review 3: 3–25.

    17 Huang, G. Collection of Women’s Studies (妇女研究论丛), (4): 27–33 (2014).

    18 Liu, B., Zhang, Y & Li, Y. Journal of China Women’s University (中华女子学院学报), (6): 12–28 (2010).

    19 Liu, X. Southeast Asian and South Asian Studies (东南亚南亚研究), (2): 83–88, 94 (2012).

    20 Liu, Z. The World of Survey and Research (调研世界), (10): 8–12 (2012).

    21 Lu, J. & Tang, C. Hebei Academic Journal (河北学刊), (3): 145–151 (2016).

    22 Ma, Y. Collection of Women’s Studies (妇女研究论丛), (5): 55–61, 82 (2013).

    23 Peng, X. & Hu, Z. Social Sciences in China (妇女研究论丛), (12: 113–132, 207.

    24 Sheng, Y. & Yang, W. Population Research (人口研究), (4): 45–52 (2012).

    25 Wu, F. Social Sciences in Guangdong (广东社会科学), (2): 23–30 (2012).

    26 Wu, X. 2012. How Orientating the Family in Public Policies. Academic Research (学术研究), (9): 50–55, 159 (2012).

    27 Wu, X. Collection of Women’s Studies (妇女研究论丛), (2): 17–25 (2015).

    28 Yang, D. Collection of Women’s Studies (妇女研究论丛), (6): 89–94, 104 (2011).

    29 Yu, J. & Xie, Y. Population Research (人口研究), (1): 18–29 (2014).

    30 Yu, J. Chinese Journal of Sociology (社会), (2): 166–192 (2014).

    31 Zheng, Z Population and Family Planning (人口与计划生育), (4): 28–29 (2016).

    32 Zhou, P. 2013. Collection of Women’s Studies (妇女研究论丛), (1): 85–91 (2013).

This Article


CN: 11-1489/C

Vol 40, No. 06, Pages 38-48

November 2016


Article Outline


  • 1 Challenges for China’s families under the universal two-child policy
  • 2 Gender relations in families and gender equity in public policies of developed countries
  • 3 Gender equity being absent in China’s current public policies
  • 4 Connotation of gender equity in public policies
  • 5 Conclusion
  • References