Editor's Note: Throughout 2019, a number of family-related policies were released nationwide. China Women's News recently selected top 10 news events that have had important influence on China's marriages and families.
Giving Play to Role of Family, Family Education and Traditions in Social Governance Stressed in the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
On October 31, 2019, the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China approved the decision on some major issues concerning how to uphold and improve the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and advance the modernization of China's system and capacity for governance. The decision stressed to give play to the important role of family, family education and family traditions in social governance at grassroots level.
The development of women is a major symbol of a country's civilization and modernization process, and family is an important basis for the modernization of a country's system and its capacity for governance. The decision helps raise the building and development of family — and family education and traditions — to a new level.
New Document Issued by the State Council Aims to Develop Housekeeping Service Sector
On June 26, 2019, the General Office of the State Council issued a new document on promoting the quality and market capacity of the country's housekeeping service sector. The document put forward 36 measures in 10 major areas, to develop employee-based enterprises, promote the establishment of housekeeping enterprises in communities and improve the quality of homemaking services.
The establishment of more housekeeping enterprises in communities will not only provide more job opportunities to women but also effectively push forward the professionalization of housekeeping service sector through the standardization of the sector.
|An infant has fun with her mother in Chengbei baby center of Chengguan Township, Ningshan County, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, on May 11, 2019. [Xinhua/Liu Xiao]|
China to Support Families in Infant Care
On April 17, 2019, the General Office of the State Council issued a guideline to improve care services for infants under 3. The guideline puts forward measures to promote infant care in the aspects of family, community and infant care service providers to support families in infant care.
The National Health Commission released standards for the establishment and facilities of infant care institutions, and management standards for infant care institutions, aiming to promote the healthy development of infant and child care services.
China Raises Pensions for Retirees and Develop Elderly Care Services
Starting from January 1, 2019, the average monthly payment for retirees from enterprises, government agencies and public institutions was lifted by 5 percent from 2018 levels, according to a circular jointly issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the Ministry of Finance.
In addition, over the next three to five years, efforts will be made to greatly increase the number of beds in elderly care providers.
The report on the work of the government in 2019 indicated that the government will continue to increase the proportion of enterprise workers' basic pension funds under central government allocation, and replenish social security funds through the injection of state capital. The government will take significant steps to develop elderly care, especially community elderly care services. It will provide support to institutions offering services in the community like day care, rehabilitation care, and assisted meals and assisted mobility using measures such as tax and fee cuts and exemptions, funding support, and reduced charges for water, electricity, gas and heating.
The number of people aged 60 or above reached 250 million in China. The measures taken by the government will help increase the supply and improve the quality of the elderly care services.
|The All-China Women's Federation holds a meeting in Beijing on May 15, 2019, to launch the Family Happiness and Well-Being Campaign and release the list of the 2019 most beautiful families in China. [Women of China/Zhang Jiamin]|
ACWF Launches Family Happiness and Well-Being Campaign
On the occasion of the International Day of Families on May 15, 2019, the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) launched the Family Happiness and Well-Being Campaign and released the list of the national most beautiful families in 2019.
The campaign helps socialist core values take root in families and has four actions, including promoting familial culture, supporting family education, improving housekeeping services, and deepening research on family issues. The ACWF vows to coordinate social forces to do family-related work well.
|An event to promote family education and family traditions is launched in Beijing on May 24, 2019. [Xinhua]|
New Edition of National Family Education Guidance Outline Released
On May 15, 2019, nine departments and organizations, including the ACWF and the Ministry of Education, released a notice on printing the revised edition of the national family education guidance outline. The revised edition adds the contents related to family moral education. It also includes guidance given to the parents and grandparents who raise children together, and covers the issue of raising more than one child in a family and family's media education in the Internet era.
The guideline stresses the fundamental role of moral education in the family education guidance work. According to the guideline, parents should nurture their children's patriotism and educate them in a scientific way. Guidance and assistance will be given to parents according to the different age groups of their children.
Chinese Lawmakers Review Draft Law of Marriage, Family Section of Civil Code, Respond to Social Concerns
A new draft of the marriage and family section of the civil code was submitted on October 21, 2019, to the bimonthly session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee for a third reading.
The draft proposed in a new clause that families shall establish good family traditions, carry forward family virtues and attach importance to promoting familial culture. Besides paying attention to family education, the new draft added that a husband and a wife shall care for each other and it proposed detailed regulations on issues concerning identification of a couple's joint debts, notification of major diseases before marriage and non-marital cohabitation.
Declining Marriage Rate Triggers Discussions
Only 7.2 people out of every 1,000 got married in China in 2018, the lowest marriage rate since 2013, according to the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry of Civil Affairs in 2019. The marriage rate is relatively low in China's most developed regions. For example, only 4.4 people out of every 1,000 people married in 2018 in Shanghai, the lowest rate in the country.
The declining marriage rate is not exclusive to China. Other countries, especially the developed ones, have also seen this trend.
An immediate cause for the declining marriage rate is people are getting married later. A declining marriage rate should also be attributed to the current age structure of China's population. With the aging of society, the proportion of people of marriageable age is on the decline, which will inevitably lead to a decrease in its general marriage rate. Given that the marriage rate is closely linked to a country's social development, the government can take practical measures to boost people's desire to get married.
China Combines Maternity Insurance, Basic Medical Insurance for Employees
The General Office of the State Council issued a document on the combination of maternity insurance and basic medical insurance for employees in a bid to improve management efficiency and reduce operation costs. The collection and management of funds, as well as the medical service management, was unified. The integration was completed by the end of 2019.
The combination of the two insurances is a key aspect of the reform of medical insurance management. It means women in informal employment can be covered by maternity insurance and it reduces the cost of childbirth for families. At the same time, it reduces the cost of childbirth paid by some departments and organizations, which helps promote equal employment opportunities for women.
Celebrity Blogger Goes Public with Claims of Abuse by Ex-Boyfriend
He Yuhong, a well-known web star in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, published a 12-minute video on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, through her certified account on November 25, 2019, which was also International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, saying that her ex-boyfriend had abused her several times since April. The man was given 20-day administrative detention by public security authorities in Chongqing Municipality for intentional injury and other illegal acts.
Anti-domestic violence not only relies on the enactment of laws and regulations but also the establishment and improvement of the early warning network at grassroots level, the intervention of legal and external forces, as well as the zero tolerance of society.
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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