What Helps or Hinder’s Women’s Equality?

9 Mar 2020


The International Women’s Day is observed on the 8th of March every year. This global observance is a way to celebrate women’s achievements and a call to attention to all the work still left to be done on a global scale. The theme for 2020 ‘I am Generational Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights’, is to mobilise global action to achieve gender equality and human rights for all women and children.

To mark the International Women’s Day, Ipsos conducted a new global study that reveals public perceptions of what helps or hinders women’s equality. The study revealed that around the world, there are significant differences in opinion on the factors that help women get ahead.

In Malaysia, over a third of people (36% against global average of 25%) say that being confident is an important factor in helping women succeed. Intelligence and being qualified are the other two key factors that help Malaysian women get ahead. Globally, working hard (29%), intelligence (27%) and being competent (27%) are seen as the most important factors that help women to get ahead than they are for men.
For men, globally, having connections (22%) is seen as a key factor to get ahead. In contrast being connected (8%) is not seen as an important factor for Malaysian men to get ahead. Working hard (41%), being competent (28%), intelligence (27%) and being confident (27%) are seen as much more important for Malaysian men to get ahead.
But what’s hindering equality between women and men? Globally, employer related issues get most of the blame for preventing equality between women and men. Employers not doing enough to close gender pay gap (26%), employers not doing enough to help women combine work and caring responsibilities (25%) and employers not promoting enough women to senior positions (21%) are the top three barriers highlighted globally as the most important factors in stopping women from achieving equality.
Employers not helping women to balance work and care responsibilities (20%) is seen as the most important factor in stopping women from achieving equality with men in Malaysia. Globally, men are twice as likely as women to say that gender equality has already been achieved in their country. 17% Malaysians are likely to think that women and men are already equal in the country, compared with an average of 13% globally.
While talking about gender equality, it is also important to look into where has most progress been made and where does change need to happen next. In Malaysia, 47% say most progress has been made with women having reached CEO/board positions over the last 25 years, the top area cited.
Arun Menon, Managing Director of Ipsos in Malaysia:
Women’s rights are human rights. This often-repeated phrase is a call to action for accelerating gender parity the world over. The International Women’s Day reminds us that global gender equality still has a long way to go. It is important that actual, tangible changes are done to improve the opportunities and working conditions of female employees. We firmly believe that conversation and recognition will lead to greater reform in the space of gender equality.
ABOUT THE STUDY The survey is an international sample of 19,943 adults aged 18 74 in the United States and Canada and 16 74 in all other countries. Interviews were conducted between 20th September-4th October 2019. The survey was conducted in 27 countries around the world, via the Ipsos Online Panel system in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Great Britain, and the USA. Approximately 1000 individuals were surveyed in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Great Britain, and the USA. Approximately 500 individuals were surveyed in Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Hungary, India, Mexico, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey. Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be+ 1 more/less than the actual , this may be due to rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don’t knows or not stated responses. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. 16 of the 27 countries surveyed generate nationally representative samples in their countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and United States). Brazil, Chile, China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Serbia, South Africa and Turkey produce a national sample that is considered to represent a more affluent, connected population. These are still a vital social group to understand in these countries, representing an important and emerging middle class.
ABOUT IPSOS Ipsos is one of the largest market research company in the world, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people. Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

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