Increased life expectancy in China implies that adults increasingly survive long enough to see their grandchildren reach adulthood and take on elevated importance—even as smaller family size reduces the number of children and grandchildren available. This article examined the prevalence with which older adults received support and care from grandchildren and the family conditions under which the likelihood of this assistance is enhanced. The data for our analysis derived from the 2014 wave of the Chinese Longitudinal Aging Social Survey, limited to 13.4% of respondents (n = 1,551) who reported requiring personal assistance to perform daily activities. Logistic regression revealed that grandparents were more likely to receive assistance from grandchildren when they had no son available or had daughters who did not provide assistance. Results were consistent across urban and rural regions. These findings support the compensatory or substitution role of grandchildren as sources of support and care for their grandparents within a gendered family system. Implications for policies and services serving older people in China are discussed.
This paper describes the circumstances surrounding the migration of older Latvian women and their multi-dimensional lives as economic migrants and as distant carers and supporters of diverse family members who remain in Latvia. In post-Soviet Latvia, especially since the 2008 financial crisis and the austerity measures which took away hope for a decent old-age pension, older women migrate abroad in order to salvage their economic wellbeing and support their multi-generation families, which can run to four generations – their children and grandchildren plus, often, their elderly parents. Migration enables these women to maintain multidirectional flows of care and also to achieve economic and psychosocial independence. Therefore, care practices that reach four generations put the figure of the grandmother at the core of transnational care relations. Research evidence for this paper comprises 50 in-depth interviews with older Latvian migrant women aged from their mid-40s to their late 60s in the UK and elsewhere. The paper demonstrates the complexity and richness of these women’s working lives, built around enhanced economic wellbeing, multiple and transnational caring responsibilities, and a new sense of self-worth and empowerment.
Our starting point is that a social psychological approach dominates the literature on interdependent or “linked” lives (Elder, 1994). We argue that interdependence is not only social-psychological, but is also structured on a macro-level. More specifically, we illustrate ways in which demographic change, such as increased co-longevity, creates different opportunities for interdependence for men and women. In addition, we draw attention to the role of national policies, distinguishing ways in which legislation mandates generational interdependence (e.g., legal obligations to provide financial support), blocks generational interdependence (e.g., grandparents not granted the right to raise grandchildren when parents cannot provide adequate care; migration laws not granting temporary visits to enable the provision of care), generates generational interdependence (e.g., daddy quota), and lightens generational interdependence (e.g., less reliance on grandparental care in Northern and Western Europe due to public support to parents of young children). We pay specific attention to childless men and women, questioning the primacy assigned to kinship ties in health care and long-term support policies. Gender receives consistent consideration throughout the paper.
Meimanat Hosseini-Chavoshi, Mohammad Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi and Peter McDonald
The Islamic Republic of Iran has experienced a remarkable demographic transition over the last three decades. As a result of social, demographic and economic changes, Iran’s fertility declined from 7.0 births per woman in 1980 to around 1.8 to 2.0 in 2011 based on our estimation (McDonald et al. 2015). The initial rise and rapid fall of fertility accompanied by a decline of child mortality led to a post-revolutionary youth bulge in the age distribution that will lead to rapid ageing in the longer-term future. Others have argued that Iran’s fertility has fallen to much lower levels - as low as 1.5 births per woman (eg. Erfani 2013). Such low estimates led to the Government of Iran adopting a pronatalist policy with the aim of increasing fertility, although the components of the policy are still under discussion. Different views have been expressed on the role of family planning and other programs in meeting population policy goals in Iran in the future with some advocating the discontinuation of government assistance to family planning. This paper aims to review the trends and levels of fertility, marriage, and family planning and their implications for policy. Using various datasets and detailed parity-based measures of fertility, the dynamics of fertility regulation practiced by Iranian couples are investigated. Our findings suggest that contraceptive use stabilized before 2000 and postponement of the first child and wide birth intervals are the main contributors to the level of fertility. Therefore, instead of discontinuation of the family planning program, policy to sustain fertility at its present level or a little higher needs to focus upon improving the economic circumstances of young people so that they are able to make less constrained choices about family formation than is the case at present.
Background: The Ethiopian government promulgated its first ever explicit, comprehensive and multisectoral population policy in 1993. The policy aimed at harmonizing population growth rate with that of the economy and the capacity of the country for sustainable socio-economic development. As with any population policy, there are important lessons to be learnt from the problems and challenges encountered during its implementation.
Objective: The paper assesses the extent to which the population policy objectives have been realized; highlights the successes registered and identifies challenges encountered in its implementation and proposes the way forward.
Methodology: Trend analysis using secondary data from censuses, surveys and UN sources were used and policy documents, research findings, development plan and program reports reviewed.
Results: Fertility, infant, under-five and maternal mortality have declined significantly. Female participation in education and labour force increased. A range of legal, policy and institutional frameworks have been developed and implemented on environmental security and on gender equity, equality and the empowerment of women. Legislative measures were also taken to remove harmful traditional practices. However, the pace of implementation has been slow and there are areas where not much progress was made.
Conclusion: Despite the progress made, there are critical challenges. Failure to establish the National Population Council; weak coordination and institutional arrangement due to absence of legally defined structure for implementation, lack of monitoring and evaluation system, absence of a comprehensive population program and financial constraints, among others are the major barriers. There is need to revise the policy and address these impediments and continuing and evolving challenges.
Sub-Saharan African countries have the highest population growth rates in the world, and are also the poorest. In response to a variety of global and local forces, during the 1980s and 1990s two thirds of sub- Saharan African countries adopted national population policies to reduce population growth. Drawing from existing research and using the texts of population policies to illustrate key points, this article summarises the factors that drove population policy adoption in the region. Globally, powerful donors with significant leverage promoted population policies as a solution to lagging socioeconomic development while international organizations spread norms about women’s rights and reproductive health. Locally, technocrats working within relevant ministries backed efforts to increase contraceptive prevalence, and population policies furthered political projects unrelated to population. The interplay of global and local forces led to governments adopting population policies. Ultimately, continued high desired fertility and limited implementation capacity have prevented population policies from significantly lowering fertility, but these policies have likely increased the availability of contraception, created important discursive space related to gender and sexuality, and provided countries with an opportunity to test procedures and approaches for policy-making on sensitive issues.