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On gender equality, there are the Nordic countries and then there’s everybody else

Climate activists Lesley Butler and Rob Bell (R) "sunbathe" on the edge of a frozen fjord in the Norwegian Arctic
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Created equal.
  • Cassie Werber
By Cassie Werber

Reporter

This article is more than 2 years old.

Is a wife’s primary role to look after her husband? Would you prefer a man or a woman as a boss?

A YouGov survey of 24 countries asked a wide range of questions on attitudes to gender. They found that the Nordic nations were the most positive on gender equality when answers were collated and averaged. They also noted that countries like Finland, Sweden and Denmark had the least discrepancy between the attitudes of male and female respondents.

The US, meanwhile, lagged behind all the other eight Western nations surveyed.

In Asian countries including China, Hong Kong, and Singapore the researchers found a 20-point difference between the answers of male and female respondents, indicating that more women than men in those countries believe in equality between genders. Countries in the Middle East scored lowest.  (Though YouGov noted that sample sizes were smaller and therefore data for genders wasn’t available).

Women earn 33% less than men globally, the report noted, and fill only 19% of company board seats globally. Women are also less well-educated. Two-thirds of the 774 million illiterate adults worldwide are female.

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