21st November 2023 – (Hong Kong) A recent survey conducted by the Kowloon Women’s Organisations Federation shed light on the priorities of childless women when it comes to starting a family. The survey, which interviewed 734 women, found that only about one-third of women who have never had children expressed plans to raise one. Interestingly, over 80 per cent of respondents cited the economy as the primary consideration factor in their decision-making process.
Among the surveyed women, over 60 per cent were under the age of 45, with more than 70 per cent of them already having children. Surprisingly, only 10 per cent of these women expressed intentions to have another child. On the other hand, of the remaining 20 per cent of respondents who had never experienced motherhood, only 34.9 per cent had plans for pregnancy.
The survey also revealed that over 80 per cent of participants believed that the government’s provision of HK$20,000 for each newborn could alleviate the financial burden associated with raising a child. However, only 22.4 per cent found this incentive attractive. When asked about the factors influencing their desire to have a baby, over 80 per cent of respondents prioritised the economy as the most influential factor. Housing was a significant concern for over 70 per cent of participants, followed by education, which half of the respondents considered crucial.
Nicole Lau Vice-chair of the Kowloon Women’s Organisations Federation, suggested several measures to alleviate the financial burdens and emotional stress faced by new mothers. These recommendations included the implementation of “children health vouchers” and “children nutrition funding” for children aged 0 to 12, as well as an increase in allowances for hiring confinement nannies by 50 per cent. Lau also proposed that the government gradually raise the tax allowance ceiling based on the number of children in a household. Under this proposal, one-child households would receive an allowance of HK$130,000, two-child households HK$190,000, and three-child households HK$250,000.