Since 1979, China enacted its one-child policy to slow the population growth rate, but now, the policy has been changed. Couples are now allowed to have two children, according to BBC News.
Why the change? Over the past several years, there have been rising concerns regarding China’s ageing population; most notably, about 30% of China’s populations is over 50 years old, which has created a huge age disparity, as well as rising social costs and decreasing workers.
About two years ago, the Chinese Communist Party began loosening the policy, when it allowed couples to have a second child. However, in the past, many couples who violated the policy often faced strict punishments–from fines to forced abortions.
Some critics feel that the two-child policy will not actually boost the birth rate high enough, according BBC’s John Sudworth, nor will it necessarily decrease the state’s control over women’s reproductive rights. Maya Wang of Human Rights Watch feels similarly, stating, “As long as the quotas and system of surveillance remains, women still do not enjoy reproductive rights.”
As of now, growth targets and a five year plan are to supposed be announced by the party soon. Hopefully, this new policy will be the catalyst for other social progressions and changes.