One question on the Census form has outraged and upset many people and been labelled “insensitive” to women.
The statistics show 25 percent of Australian pregnancies end in miscarriage so for any women who’ve experienced this, the Census question about how many babies has a person given birth to, proved to be greatly upsetting.
Molli Sarafov from Western Sydney recently lost her son to stillbirth and so when the question came up on the Census form she said she was caught off guard.
The Census form asked: “How many babies has (name) ever given birth to?” The form said you can “exclude adopted, foster and step children.”
But Sarafov, from western Sydney, said the question was greatly upsetting to her: “I was in tears,” she said.
“I wasn’t sure what to write and I tapped the button for more information, but that just said something about how the ABS was trying to record statistics on the age of fertility of women, so didn’t help anyone in my situation answer the question.”
Red Nose co-chief executive Jackie Mead agreed the question was insensitive saying: “It was worded so poorly and could be so offensive to so many women, including the many who have lost a baby.”
“Sadly, one in four Australian pregnancies end in miscarriage and one in 135 ends in stillbirth. This is an issue that affects so many women,” she said.
“Many women have told us today they are upset and confused about the abrupt way this question was worded and many were left in tears while completing their Census,” Mead added.
Social media fielded more complaints
Others complained about the question on social media. “Thanks to census, for two days I’ve been reminded society views me as a woman without children,” one woman wrote.
“Where’s the question asking how many babies have men created? Also what about women who have lost children during pregnancy?”
Another person wrote: “Census asking me how many babies I’ve popped out feels like a dig at my uterus. Might as well ask the penis owners how many times they’ve impregnated someone.”
Another woman posted: “I was asked how many babies I’d given birth to on the census so naturally I expected my husband would be asked how many children he’s fathered. Spoiler: he wasn’t.”
Most people in Australia submitted the Census on Tuesday evening of this week.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said it received 6.2 million forms as of 8 am on Wednesday morning.
Out of those forms, about 126,000 were submitted on paper and the rest online. Those who didn’t submit their forms will be contacted by the ABS by email or in regional areas, by door knocking.
Image: Getty Images
This article originally appeared on Over60.