“Currently about 30% of China’s population is over the age of 50.” China faces gender imbalance and “demographers and sociologists raised concerns about rising social costs and falling worker numbers.”
The one-child policy was introduced by the Communist Party in 1979. They wanted to slow the country’s growth, which “is estimated to have prevented about 400 million births. However concerns at China’s ageing population led to pressure for change,” reported BBC.
In January 2014, couples were allowed to have two children if one of the parents was an only child. Before this relaxation of policy, couples “faced a variety of punishments, from fines and the loss of employment to forced abortions.”
It’s still the social norm to have only one child, so there is concern that a two-child policy will not make a difference in the birth rate and gender imbalance.
“As long as the quotas and system of surveillance remains, women still do not enjoy reproductive rights,” Maya Wang of Human Rights Watch said.