Worldwide optimism about future of gender equality even as many see advantages for men
Support for gender equality is strong around the globe, a new Pew Research Center report finds.
Across 34 countries polled, a median of 94% think it is important for women in their country to have the same rights as men, with 74% saying this is very important.
At the same time, a notable share (a median of 40% across the countries surveyed) thinks men should have more right to a job than women when jobs are scarce; 56% disagree with this notion.
At least four-in-ten think men generally have more opportunities than women in their country to get high-paying jobs (a median of 54% across the 34 countries surveyed) and that men have more opportunities when it comes to being leaders in their community (44%).
Publics see more equity in access to a good education – a median of 81% believe men and women in their country generally have the same opportunities in this area – and expressing their political views (63% say men and women have the same opportunities).
No more than 6% say women have more opportunities than men in any of these realms.
In many countries, women place more importance on gender equality than men do.
However, women are less optimistic than men that women in their countries will achieve equality in the future, and they are more likely to say men have better lives than women.
Still, majorities of men and women express optimism about the future of gender equality in their country.
Overall, a median of 75% across the 34 countries polled think it is likely that women in their country will eventually have the same rights as men, and 5% volunteer that women in their country have already achieved equality.
These are among the major findings from a Pew Research Center survey conducted among 38,426 adults in 34 countries from May 13 to Oct. 2, 2019.
Additional findings from the report are that majority in many African, Middle Eastern and Asian-Pacific countries surveyed say men should have preferential treatment when jobs are scarce.
In some countries, men are more likely than women to say men should have more right to a job than women when jobs are scarce, with double-digit gender differences in Kenya, Nigeria, Bulgaria, South Africa, Israel, Slovakia, Italy, Argentina and the Czech Republic.
In nearly all countries surveyed, majorities prefer an egalitarian marriage.
A median of 72% across the 34 countries surveyed say a marriage where both the husband and wife have jobs and take care of the house and children is a more satisfying way of life than one where the husband provides for the family and the wife takes care of the house and children.
The shares saying that a more egalitarian marriage is better are lowest in Lithuania, Tunisia and Indonesia.
Many say men have more influence than women when it comes to making important decisions about household finances.
A median of 55% say men and women have about the same influence in this area, while 56% say the same about decisions about how to raise kids; 62% say both genders have the same influence when it comes to decisions about their family’s religious practices.
To the extent that people see one gender having more influence, men are generally seen as having more influence than women when it comes to decisions about household finances, and women are seen as having more influence than men when it comes to decisions about how to raise children.
Across the globe, many believe men in their country have a better life than women.
Though many people expect that their country will become more egalitarian in time, a median of 46% across the 34 countries surveyed say that, all things considered, men have a better life than women in their country.
Majorities in France, Spain, Sweden, the UK, Canada, the U.S., Turkey, Australia and the Netherlands say men have a better life than women in their country. Pluralities in many other countries express the same view.
The volunteered response that neither gender has a better life than the other is common in many countries, especially in Central and Eastern Europe.
Roughly half or more provide this response in Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary and Lithuania. In many countries where this question was asked in 2010, the share who believe men have a better life has increased substantially.
The author, Tanya Arditi Saavedra, is the Communications Manager at Pew Research Center