Caring across generations : policy challenges for China [Mandarin]
Before the reforms during the Maoist era, many care roles and responsibilities were provided by the state and by collectives. As the country embarked on a path of economic reform, care responsibilities shifted back to the household. The economic reform lifted 600 million people out of poverty, but also increased inequalities across socio-economic groups. Only at the turn of the century did China begin to integrate equality and social development back into the policy agenda. With the reforms, women’s roles have changed substantively, especially due to increased rural-to-urban labour migration, a prominent feature of structural change that places a heavy burden of care on those left behind in rural villages. As elsewhere, women in China are primarily responsible for care work, keeping family members nourished and healthy, and taking care of children, the elderly, and the sick. Using data from ten national representative surveys as well as Chinese and English literature, the researchers studied the impacts of unpaid care work and how they interact with labour force participation, time use by gender, well-being, and policies on retirement, pension, and maternity leave.
Author(s): Tran, Olivia, Rodriguez, Edgard, de Haan, Arjan, Zhao, Xiao-Yuan