Women’s rights have gone ‘too far’, now men feeling discriminated, says latest survey

More than half of all men (55%) and about 41% of all women in 32 countries believe that women’s rights are being exaggerated, according to a survey by Ipsos UK and the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London. The survey collected responses from 22,500 people aged 16 to 74 from 32 countries, including 500 responses each from India, Indonesia, South Africa and South Korea.

Nearly 52 percent of Gen Z and 53 percent of Millennials say society has gone “too far” in promoting women’s rights to discriminate against men.

In contrast, four in 10 Baby Boomers (40 percent) and Gen Xers (46 percent) said the same thing.

Which countries were surveyed?

The sample consists of approximately 2,000 people in Japan, 1,000 people each in Australia, Brazil, Canada, mainland China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and the United States, and 500 people each in Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

The survey report states that respondents from most Latin American and Asian countries are “more urban, more educated and more affluent than the general population”.

Is there a silver lining for gender equality?

More than half of people (53 percent) in all 32 countries surveyed said gender equality benefits all genders, not just women.

Just under 6 percent of people in all 32 countries surveyed believe that gender inequality does not exist, meaning that overall around 94 percent of people worldwide acknowledge the role of gender inequality in public. About 15 percent of Indians said there is no gender inequality (highest), while just 2 percent of respondents in Japan said the same.

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Indians were found to be among the most forthcoming when it came to confronting someone who was sexually harassing a woman. About 26 percent of Indians surveyed said they had confronted someone in a similar situation in the past year, alongside 36 percent of Indonesians.

About 30 percent of Indians surveyed said they had spoken to their employers about examples of gender discrimination in the workplace, alongside people from the United Arab Emirates (33 percent).

The poll found that compared to the years leading up to the Covid pandemic, there is greater optimism that equality will be achieved over the course of people’s lives (53 percent in 2023 versus 47 percent in 2019), half of people think that life is better for young women today than in the previous generation, and a growing proportion (about 4 in 10) self-identify as a feminist.

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