International Women's Day 2019

A majority of Malaysian feel that achieving gender equality is important to them personally and it won’t happen unless men take actions to support and half of them believe that young women will have a better life than their parents’ generation

There is still a long way to go, but attitudes are changing for the better. Two-thirds of people globally (Malaysia 73%) say that achieving gender equality is important to them personally and it won't happen unless men take actions to support. We (Globally and Malaysia 50%) believe that young women will have a better life than their parent's generation

 

Key findings:

  • Globally 65% (Malaysia 73%) believe that women won't achieve equality in their country unless men take actions to support women's rights too. However, opinion is split on whether too much is being expected of men to help the fight for equality: 43% (Malaysia 60%) agree that men are being expected to do too much.
  • In most countries childcare is no longer seen as the prerogative of the women; Globally 75% (Malaysia 73%) disagree that a man who stays at home to look after his children is less of a man. However, 17% globally (primarily from Malaysia, India and South Korea) feel uncomfortable to have a woman boss.
  • Women still face significant issues. Three in ten people (40% in Malaysia) pick out sexual harassment as the top issue facing women, which is in line with findings in 2018 when the figure was 32%.
  • Top actions that people feel would help to achieve equality between men and women are employers paying women the same as men for the same work (36%) and tougher laws to prevent violence and harassment against women (35%).
  • Education is the area where people think equality will be achieved first and government/politics to be the last.

People still think it is easier to be a man than a woman in today's society

  • Half (52%) of the respondents believe there are more advantages to being a man than a woman in society today. Just over one in ten (12%) believe that being a women is more advantageous than being a man whereas quarter (26%) believe there are no differences between men and women. Asian countries score better, where Malaysians (36%) are the least likely to say there are more advantages today to be a man than a woman.

...and close to half believe the push for gender equality hasn't gone far enough

  • More people disagree (49%) than agree (42%) that when it comes to giving women equality, things have gone far enough

Attitudes towards masculinity are changing - childcare is no longer seen as a women's job and the majority say they would be comfortable with a female boss

  • In most countries childcare is no longer seen as the preserve of the woman; globally (75%) people disagree that a man who stays at home to look after his children is less of a man compared with just one in five (18%) agreeing.
  • 75% of global respondent say that they would be comfortable with having a female boss. Only 17% say they would feel uncomfortable. Men are more likely to say that they would feel uncomfortable if their boss was female (20%) compared to women (14%). Unease with having a female boss rises among people in Malaysia (28%), whereas people in European countries are least likely to say they would feel uncomfortable.

Sexual harassment, sexual violence, physical violence, equal pay and domestic abuse are still seen as the top issues facing women across the globe

  • Three in ten people globally (30%) pick out sexual harassment as the top issue facing women, which is in line with findings in 2018 when the figure was 32%. Malaysians (40%) are significantly more likely to see sexual harassment as the top issue facing women, followed by workplace discrimination, sexual violence and balancing work and life.

Equal pay and tougher laws to end violence and harassment against women are seen as the key to helping achieve gender equality. All while strides are being made to end gender discrimination in education, people are least confident in government and politics.

  • Education is the are where 70% of Malaysians are confident that discrimination against women in education will have ended in 20 years' time.
  • 'Government/Politics' and 'Looking after children and the home' are two areas where Malaysians are confident of women making progress.

Arun Menon, Managing Director, Ipsos Malaysia

"A balanced world will lead to a better world. Malaysia is progressing in the right direction by creating a more balanced environment for women at the work place, through encouraging initiatives such as 30% women on board, extending the maternity and paternity leave for employees and working flexibility options.

However. we are a long way from achieving equality on 'looking after children and home' and 'women's role in politics'. It's unfair to claim that men are expected to do much to support equality, when we know it won't be achieved without the support of men.

Beyond equality, it's shocking to know that 4 out of 10 Malaysians believe sexual harassment is the biggest issues facing women in Malaysia. This indicates, that there is much to be done and we shouldn't overestimate our achievements."

 

Technical details:

Field dates were Friday, December 21st 2018 to Friday, January 4th 2019. 18,800 online survey respondents who are adults aged 16 to 64, across 27 countries.

Approximately 1000+ individuals participated on a country by country basis via the Ipsos Online Panel with the exception of Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey, where each have a sample of approximately 500+.

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