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2020-01-09 10:10:54

A Shanghai-based women’s rights group is planning to propose a new parental leave policy for the city that would extend time off for new parents and include mandatory leave for fathers, Sixth Tone’s sister publication The Paper reported Wednesday.

The Shanghai Women’s Federation — the municipal branch of China’s quasi-official women’s rights group — said Wednesday that it plans to raise the issue during the city’s upcoming “two sessions” political meetings. The federation is seeking to extend the current maternity leave from 138 days to six months, and to introduce shared parental leave for couples, with fathers having at least 30 days of mandatory time off after the birth of a child.

A spokesperson for the federation’s Shanghai branch said the proposal is aimed at encouraging more fathers to get involved in childrearing, as well as supporting women’s professional development after giving birth, according to The Paper. She added that the move could also help boost the city’s fertility rate.

Amid slowing birth rates and a rapidly aging society, more cities and provinces are introducing paternity leave to encourage couples to have second children. Authorities hope such enticing provisions will not only encourage procreation, but also shift traditional notions of parenting in a more equitable direction. (Image: Tuchong)