The Apparent Failure of Russia’s Pronatalist Family Policy
Russia has a long history of pronatalist policies dating back to the 1930s. Two sets of pronatalist measures were implemented during the past 40 years. The one designed in the early 1980s proved to be a clear failure. Instead of raising fertility, completed cohort fertility declined from 1.8 births per woman for the 1960 to 1.6 for the 1968 birth cohort. The government of president Putin became very concerned with the dire demographic conditions of high mortality and low fertility in Russia in the1990s and early 2000s. Among others, a reasonably comprehensive set of pronatalist measures came into effect on 1 January 2007. The period total fertility rate increased from1.3 births per woman in 2006 to 1.6 in 2011 which the authorities view as an unqualified success. An unbiased demographic evaluation as well as analyses of Russian experts reveals that apparently the measures mainly caused a lowering of the age at birth and shortening of birth intervals. It appears that any real fertility increase is questionable, i.e. cohort fertility is not likely to increase appreciably. The recent pronatalist measures may turn out to be a failure.
The article is devoted to combination’s possibilities of the family and professional employment in the Russia of today. The article is based on the information of comprehensive survey of the living conditions of the population which was made in Russia in 2011. On the base of statistic methods of analyses, particularly construction of tree targets, preferences of Russians were revealed in timing both of professional employment and education of children. Parents can be classify on 6 groups by the time which they devote to their children, first of all it depends on sex, the amount of persons in the family, location of the family, joint or separate from children. Employment strategy differs in range of conditions and time schedule. Parents devote their time to children depending on professional employment. There is not enough flexible labor market in Russia and entrepreneurial activity is low in the small family business. Solution of demographic problems, security of birthrate and effective parenting is impossible without family policy in the direction of reconciling family and professional roles.
Markedly low fertility rates in Russia and western European countries are real challenges for these states. The governments should determine what considerations guide the people who refuse giving birth to their fi rst or subsequent children, as well as the should understand what measures they can encourage parents to increase the number of children. The following paper shows that, as in Europe, it is very important in Russia to take into account indirect costs of children, and in Russia a parent who is meant in this situation is the mother. However, for Russia the possibility to have children is very closely related to the type of locality, which in the case of our country also means the difference in income and the difference in the established system of external child care.
The article deals with comparative analysis of family policies towards fatherhood. The author analyzes how family policy in different countries is a mens friendly. Contemporary family policies in different Western European countries include a specific set of support, addressed to father after the child birth. A leave to care for the child is an example which shows that the family policy creates different models of fatherhood. In conclusion the author argues that gender-based analysis of family policy, along with the study of the position of women with children should include fathers who have certain rights and responsibilities.
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.