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Work or child? Why do couples want to have many children in Armenia, but they have fewer?

This year’s World Population Day theme refers to the Declaration adopted fifty years ago in the 1968 United Nations Conference on Human Rights in Tehran, according to which the world recognized the fundamental right of parents to “determine the number and range of their children free”. It should also be noted that this right is also directly related to women’s empowerment, poverty reduction and sustainable development.

 

The State has a role in determining the right of children and that family planning does not hinder the state policy because of imperfection. Therefore, the question is why the desire of married couples to have at least three children in Armenia is fading after having the second and even the first child.

 

This question was answered by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in the study of population reproductive behavior carried out in 2017, which was implemented in 2017 in Yerevan and in 4 regions – Gegharkunik, Lori, Shirak and Tavush – in total of 2301 households.

 

Ani Aslanyan, head of the demographic department at the National Institute of Labor and Social Studies, says that according to the survey results, the desirable number of children in the couples was mostly 3, but most of them – more than 50%, had 2 children, 5% – one child.

 

According to the study, there are some obstacles that 63.8% of the surveyed households no longer have a child. Thus, in the near future, the most frequent answers to the reasons for childbearing have been the following: We intend to leave the country (9.72%); the number is sufficient (9.59%); the socio-economic situation of the family (6.11%); Family housing conditions (2.57%); the health problems of spouses (6.0%).

 

The results of the study lead to a very important conclusion: if the state is concerned about the improvement of demographic indicators, first of all, the policy of perfection should focus on combining labor and child care, access to services, thereby removing the burden of “work or child” dilemma from women and succeeding in the development of women’s potential in the country’s development processes proper use.

 

Full text in Armenian

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