[Event Report] Women’s Health Project Symposium – “The Public Opinion Survey on Child-rearing in Modern Japan: Aiming to Build a Society in Which People Who Want to Get Pregnant Can Do So” (March 4, 2022)
date : 3/28/2022
Tags: Women's Health
To mark the occasion of Women’s Health Week (from March 1 to March 8), Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) Women’s Health Project held a symposium titled “The Public Opinion Survey on Child-rearing in Modern Japan: Aiming to Build a Society in Which People Who Want to Get Pregnant Can Do So” on March 4, 2022, The event used a hybrid format with an in-person meeting at the venue (Global Business Hub Tokyo) and a virtual meeting held online.
The Government of Japan has implemented various laws and measures to reverse the declining birthrate and achieve a target of 1.8 births per woman. These have included reviewing the child-rearing allowance and taking steps to eliminate daycare waiting lists, improving working conditions for young people, and providing parental leave to men. However, according to statistics presented in June 2021, the total fertility rate in 2020 was 1.34, making it the fifth consecutive year of decline. In response, subsidies for fertility treatments were newly expanded and discussions on expanding insurance coverage for fertility treatments are now underway. Many people feel these support measures are insufficient for meeting the needs and realities facing members of the child-rearing generation.
In the “Health Promotion and Working Women” survey of 2,000 working women conducted by Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) in 2018, among the 738 respondents who said they wanted to get pregnant at some point in their life, only 46.7% of were able to conceive when they wanted to. When the 393 women who were unable to conceive at their desired time were asked what measures or policies they wish had been in place at that time, the most common responses were, “A flexible paid leave system at work,” “A better work environment,” and “Teaching suitable times for pregnancy and fertility during school education.” Although some measures to address these issues were brought up in the survey results, the responding group for that question was limited to women who wanted to conceive and could not do so when they wanted to. Also, overall findings reflected the opinions of women. This highlighted the need for more segmentation among factors when examining such topics.
In response to that need, in FY2021, HGPI conducted an online national survey of 10,000 men and women ages 25 to 49 with the objective of identifying and proposing the specific, necessary, and effective measures for successfully creating a society in which anyone who wants to conceive is able to do so.
In addition to a report on the results of this survey, this symposium included a panel discussion with multi-stakeholders from industry, Government, academia, and civil society that deepened discussions on current circumstances and issues for people who want to have children as well as future prospects for measures for women’s health and for addressing Japan’s declining birthrate. Moving forward, we will create reference materials based on this meeting and contribute to further improving measures for women’s health and the declining birthrate.
- Date & Time: Friday, March 4, 2022; from 18:30-20:00 JST
- Format: Hybrid format (in-person event at the Global Business Hub Field with Zoom webinar)
- Language: Japanese
- Host: Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI)
[Program] (Titles omitted)
18:30-18:35 Opening remarks
- Ryoji Noritake (CEO, Board member, HGPI)
18:35-18:50 Survey report
- Yuko Imamura (Manager, HGPI)
18:50-19:55 Panel discussion “Current Issues and Future Prospects for Building a Society in Which People Who Want to Get Pregnant Can Do So”
- Hiroki Fujimoto (Senior Executive Officer, Director, New Business Planning Department, Sumitomo Life Insurance Co., Ltd.; Head of Co-creation, SUMISEI INNOVATION FUND)
- Tomoko Hayashi (Director-General, Gender Equality Bureau, Cabinet Office)
- Yutaka Osuga (Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo)
- Mariko Sato (Director, UNFPA Representation Office in Japan)
- Yuko Imamura (Manager, HGPI)
19:55-20:00 Closing remarks
- Seiko Noda (Member, House of Representatives)
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