Japan’s birth rate to increase along with women’s empowerment – U.N.

Japan needs to give more rights to women in their workplaces and to promote male implication in child rearing if it wants to fight its falling birth rate, the head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said on Tuesday.

“If they (women), for instance, leave to go and have a baby, they do not lose promotion, they do not lose anything, and then when they come back, they can also look after their children whilst they are working and then men’s participation in that also tends to ensure that you facilitate growth in population,” Babatunde Osotimehin, the UNFPA’s executive director, said according to Kyodo news agency.

It is very important for women to know that although they have a child, they still can work after giving birth and have a chance to advance their careers, Osotimehin said. In this regard, the public and private sector should work together, he added.

“What we urge governments to do in cooperation with the private sector and employers is to provide and promote the means to facilitate compatibility between labor force participation and parenthood so that women can have a career and be assured of career progression,” he said.

Men should also participate more to child rearing – a system that has progressed a long way in countries, such as Denmark, Sweden and France, and more recently in Britain.

“We have seen that in parts of the world where men have been involved with paternity leaves and getting involved with raising children we have been able to increase the birthrates,” he explained.

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