Press release №2020
24.11.2017
BEING A MOTHER IN RUSSIA -2017

IN BRIEF

  • 42% of Russians think that now is a good time for having children (25% in 2008)
  • 35% of parents who have minor children say that after the child birth their financial situation deteriorated
  • 43% say it did not change
  • 19% say it improved

The key problems that mothers in Russia are facing are low amount of child allowance and lack of child care institutions.

MOSCOW, November 24, 2017. The Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of a survey devoted to Mother’s Day in Russia.

Russians think that the present time is more favorable for having children (42% in 2017 think the time is “good”) than it was ten years ago (25% in 2008).

However, those who are more confident are older respondents (45-49% of persons aged 45 and over), rather than young respondents (27% of persons aged 18-24; 34% of persons aged 25-34). Seventeen percent of Russians provide negative views (previously this share was 28%).  The dynamics of the mothers’ situation assessments in Russia are almost the same: at the moment 38% consider that the situation has improved (40% in 2008), 18% point to deterioration (13%); 38% see no changes (35%).  The views of Russians who have or who do not have minor children are almost similar.

The rating of parenting concerns based on respondents’ views is headed by child allowance: 24% report that the allowance size is not sufficient. Other major concerns involve lack of child care institutions (21%), low living standards and high prices (15%), poor quality of health care services (14%).

Russians are divided in their assessments of the financial problems they might have if there is an addition to a family: 35% of parents who have minor children say their family well-being got worse; 19% report an improvement; 43% say nothing changed in their lives.

Most of Russians consider that employers could help women on maternity leave by providing them with a kindergarten place (72%), flexible hours (69%), a remote work schedule (61%), or money to hire a nanny (54%). In reality, few provided those benefits: about 1-7% of respondents say that they (personally) or their wives in fact received such assistance.

The VCIOM-Sputnik Russian nationwide survey was conducted on October 21-22, 2017. The survey involved 1,200 Russians aged 18 and over, and was carried out using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 3.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

The 2008 results are based on a household survey.

In your opinion, is now a good time to have children, or not? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  2008 2017
Good 25 42
Not good, not bad 38 35
Bad 28 17
Don’t know 9 6
In your opinion, over the recent two or three years has the situation of mothers in Russia (social provision, healthcare, conditions to raise children, etc.) deteriorated/improved/stayed at the same level? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  2008 2017
Improved 40 38
Not changed 35 38
Deteriorated 13 18
Don’t know 12 6
What are the most important motherhood problems today? (open-ended question, not more than three answers, %)
  Total respondents
Low child allowance 24
Insufficient number of day-care centers 21
Low living standards, high prices 15
Poor quality healthcare, lack of doctors 14
Low level of education 6
Fee-based healthcare system, education 6
Housing problems 5
Lack of/insufficient benefits (for disabled children, single mothers, families with many children) 4
Expensive kindergartens, treatment, child nutrition 4
Authorities do not pay enough attention 3
Employment problems, unemployment during pregnancy/child birth 2
Homelessness, left kids 2
Irresponsible parents, low level of educational attainment in the family 2
Lack of leisure centers, activities 2
Short maternity leave 2
Alcoholism 2
Unemployment 1
Mothers do not pay enough attention to children due to their need to work 1
Expensive leisure and entertainment 1
Inadequate work of child protection services; they deprive of parental rights for  slapping on the head 1
Low fertility rate; young people have no desire to have children 1
Uncontrolled fertility in  deprived,  single-parent families 1
Too many ill children are being born 1
Poor quality of child food 1
No control over the alimony payment 1
Bureaucracy 1
No stability, no social guarantees 1
Other 5
Don't know 28
Do you have minor children? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents
Yes, I have one 20
Yes, I have two of them 13
Yes, more than two 4
No, but we are planning to have a child within a year or two 7
No, and we do not  plan to have a child in the near future 54
Don’t know 2
In your opinion, how has the financial situation in your family changed after the child birth? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of those who have minor children)
  Total respondents Moscow and St.Petersburg Million cities More than 500 ths 100–500 ths Less than 100 ths Rural area
Considerably improved 8 2 11 6 6 6 11
Somewhat improved 11 14 12 5 8 13 11
No changes 43 24 44 48 47 38 48
Somewhat deteriorated 19 31 13 25 24 20 11
Considerably deteriorated 16 20 18 15 13 19 13
Don’t know 3 9 2 1 2 4 6
In your opinion, how would the following benefits and opportunities affect the situation of mothers who took maternity leave? (closed-ended question, one answer per each line, %)
  It would improve the situation The situation would not change It would deteriorate the situation Don’t know
Kindergarten place financed by the company, enterprise 72 13 4 11
Flexible working hours 69 14 8 9
Opportunity to have a remote job (from home) 61 17 12 10
Financial opportunity to hire a nanny for those women who continue working  54 17 11 18
During maternity leave do your friends/relatives use the following benefits and opportunities provided by employer over the recent year? (closed-ended question, one answer per each line, %)
  Yes, personally/ Yes, my spouse used No, I did not use it personally but I heard about it from friends/relatives I did not use it and I did not hear about it Don’t know
Flexible working hours 7 31 59 3
Kindergarten place financed by the company, enterprise 6 18 72 4
Opportunity to have a remote job (from home) 4 23 68 5
Financial opportunity to hire a nanny for those women who continue working  1 23 73 3

Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory!

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