While strides can be seen around the world, the Nordic countries are where it’s at when it comes to positive attitudes toward women, according to study from U.K.-based research firm YouGov.
“The facts paint a clear picture of continuing gender inequality world-wide, but changes in attitudes reveal the economic and social progress that is slowly being made,” YouGov wrote.
Sweden tops the list of the 24 nations covered in the survey, which polled more than 42,000 people world-wide to assess their views At the bottom of the rankings: Algeria, Egypt and Morocco.
The scores were determined by asking 14 agree/disagree questions, such as is it “unattractive for women to express strong opinions in public?” and whether “men should spend more time doing house work.” Overall, Sweden scored a 72, while the U.S. was a distant ninth at just 49.
Why such a divide? When asked if it’s good for women to have their own career, only 47% of Americans said they “strongly agree.” In Sweden, that number came in at 83%. Should men and women get equal pay? Just over half of Americans strongly agree, compared with 81% in Sweden.
There is one thing that both the U.S. and Sweden can agree on: Less than 30% of those polled believe pop singer Beyoncé is a positive role model.
Also of note, the U.K. and the U.S. were the only two countries where more women than men said they believe a wife’s first role is to look after her husband.
The study also drew some conclusions about the “significant” relationships between a country’s attitude toward gender equality and its GDP per capital. Essentially, the healthier the attitude, the wealthier the nation, as the chart below shows.
YouGov said there were some notable exceptions to that theory, most obviously the fact that the U.S. has more than seven times as much wealth per person than China, though it scores only five points higher in terms of gender progressiveness.
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