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Hungarian family policymaking is about creating a balance between work and family and ensuring that childbearing does not involve a financial penalty, János Csák, the culture and innovation minister, said on Friday at a panel discussion of the 5th Budapest Demographic Summit. The government provides housing support as a foundation for family life for young couples while promoting work-family balance and financial support for families, he said. Whereas the fertility rate was 1.2 ten years ago, today it is 1.52, even though the number of women of childbearing age is falling, he said.
The government focuses not only on families with small children but the entire life cycle, including grandparents, he said. Csák said culture is passed on to the next generations mainly within families, adding that culture and family policy were tightly intertwined in a way that higher education, science and innovation could lay the foundation for the middle classes while boosting competitiveness.
Aida Balayeva, the Kazakh culture and information minister, said family was the key to security. She said her government was focused on turning Kazakh’s youthful demographics into opportunities. The country’s population, which is around 20 million, has grown by around three million in the last ten years, she added. Mahinur Ozdemir, Türkiye’s family and social affairs minister, said the fertility rate in Türkiye, with a population of 85 million, was waning while there were more and more elderly in the country. Various government family support measures were aimed at increasing the number of births, he said.
Darija Kisić Tepavčević, Serbia’s family affairs minister, said that Hungary had been an inspiration in tackling the problem of the declining population over the past five decades. Twelve years ago the fertility rate was 1.4, she said, noting that today it has risen to around 1.5-1.6, thanks to family support measures such as direct financial support for families with children. Amna bint Ahmed al-Rumaihi, Bahrain’s minister of housing and urban planning, Amel Moussa Belhaj, Tunisia’s minister of family affairs, and Maryam bint Ali bin Nasser Al Misnad, Qatar’s family affairs minister, also contributed to the panel discussion.