Gender Equality Popular in Most Countries

July 9, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Asia-Pacific | Data-driven | Europe & Middle East | Men | Staffing | Women

Despite widespread global support for gender equality, many think women are still treated unequally, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Most Support Gender Equality
Almost everywhere, solid majorities express support for gender equality and agree that women should be able to work outside the home. Most also find a marriage in which both spouses share financial and household responsibilities to be more satisfying than one in which the husband provides for the family and the wife takes care of the house and children. In addition, majorities in most countries reject the notion that higher education is more important for a boy than for a girl.

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Support for gender equality is highest in France and Spain (99% each), and the US, Britain and Germany (97% each). The only one of the 22 countries where Pew Research Center Global Attitudes Project conducted this survey which had lower than 50% support for gender equality was Nigeria (43%). Other low-scoring countries were the predominantly Muslim nations of Egypt (60%), Jordan (61%) and Indonesia (64%).

Support for Women Working Outside Home Even Higher
Support for women working outside the home was generally even higher globally than support for gender equality. While nations with high support for gender equality favored women working outside the home by similar margins, many nations with low support for gender equality favored women working outside the home by solid majorities.

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For example, 84% of Nigerians support women working outside the home, as do 88% of Indonesians. However, support for women working outside the home is still low in Jordan (58%) and Egypt (61%). The only country where support for women working outside the home was substantially lower than support for gender equality was Pakistan (69% and 79% support, respectively).

Support for women working outside the home is also tempered in some countries by the belief when jobs are scarce, men should have more right to a job. For example, only 14% of US respondents agree with this statement, compared to 77% of Nigerian respondents.

Inequality Acknowledged Worldwide
Despite a general consensus that women should have the same rights as men, people in many countries around the world say gender inequalities persist in their countries. Among supporters of gender equality, 82% say more changes are needed in France, as do 69% in Britain and 64% in the US. Not surprisingly, this percentage tends to be lower in countries with lower support for gender equality, such as Jordan (37%) and Egypt (59%).

This is not universally true, however. Although Nigeria has the lowest support of gender equality, 70% of gender equality supporters think more changes are needed. Conversely, 95% of Chinese respondents support gender equality, but only 46% of this subgroup think more changes are needed.

Capturing $5T in Female Spending
A new “female economy” will drive $5 trillion in incremental global spending during the next several years, according to a new book from Boston Consulting Group. “Women Want More” advises marketers of gender-related trends including that 1 billion women work worldwide, more than half of college students are women, and women control more than half of the wealth in the US.

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