A Woman’s Place

What is a woman’s place? The image of the 1950’s housewife that proliferated media during woman’s liberation as an anti woman’s lib sentiment argued that the woman’s place was the home. The argument continues today, even with the advances made in the struggle for woman’s equality, the year 2010 still sees a belief in prescribed gender roles. Reuters published an online article on Sunday March 7th which reported that in as survey of over 24,000 adults over 23 countries, 1 out of every 4 people surveyed believed that the woman’s place was in the home. The survey asked people from each of the 23 countries to agree or disagree with the idea that women should stay home. Overall, a majority of 74% of the people surveyed did not believe that women should all stay home, however the surprise came in the breakdown of who did. The three countries with the smallest number of people agreeing were Mexico, France and Argentina with 9% agreeing and 91% disagreeing. Comparatively, the US had 25% agree and 75% disagree. It was also reported that across the board people aged 18-34 were more likely to admit they believe women should stay at home than in older generations. In countries like India where over half of those surveyed believed women’s place was in the home, gender does not seem to be a factor as men and women answer the question the same way, nearly equally. Growing up in a liberal state, going to a very liberal college and entering into a field where the majority of my colleges will be women, I find this survey a reminder that my experiences are somewhat unique. And as much as I would like to believe that the ‘big battles’ we discussed before have been won, this is a reminder that those wins are not necessarily universally felt.

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