One of my central questions was, do the EU and the US differ in their views on gender equity and how did this change over time? To get an idea of this, I compared the means for the EU and the means for the US on the three statements already described in yesterdays post.
A short primer on the graphs: the x-axis shows the year in which the survey wave was concluded. This is not necessary the year in which the question was asked (the year of the actual survey differs between countries as each wave takes 3-5 years to complete). The y-axis shows the percentage of the respondents who agreed or strongly agreed to the statement compared to those wo diasgreed or strongly disagreed (or where possible answered with “Neither”, see the post on methods).
1. “When jobs are scarce, men should have more right to a job than women”
So what we see here, is that in 1993 almost 40% of the member states of the EU-28 agreed on a statement that effectively says, that men should still have more right to attain a job than women. While 38,5% clearly isn’t a majority, it is still a much stronger minority than i would have believed initially. In the next two waves this percentage drops significantly to about 19% in 2010.
In the US the drop is even more steep, from 21% to 8% between 1998 and 2014. Also these values lie well below those of the EU.
In summary it is safe to say, that the belief that men should have more right to a job (at least when they are scarce) is getting less widespread and is still stronger in the EU than in the US.
2. “Both the husband and wife should contribute to household income”
While question 1 showed a similar development for the EU and the US resondents, in question 2 the agreement rates started at more or less the same percentage (78% in the EU in 1993 and 77% in the US in 1998) but then moved away from one another. The agreement to the statement, that both men and women should contribute to the household income, rose to 85,5% in the EU-28 in 2010, while in the US it sank to 69% in 2004. Despite the difference in development both regions still show a strong agreement to the statement over all.
3. “Having a job is the best way for a woman to be an independent person”
The role of the job in the independence of a women seems to be a strong value in the EU (rising from 65,5% in 1993 to 80% in 2010). At the same time the US respondents seem to be split on this statement. Here we see an agreement of 47% in the wave of 2014, which is significantly lower than in the EU-28. As this question was only introduced in the most recent WVS wave, no statement can be made about the development in the US.