Attitudes on Gender Equality in the Field of Work in the EVS & WVS over time – Summary and Conclusions

Overview of the posts so far:



Analysis I – EU / US Comparison

Analysis II – How united are the EU-28 on the issue?

Analysis III – EU / US Comparison Revisited

Analysis IV – Male / Female Comparison

In my first post, I stated three main questions:

  1. Do the EU and the US differ in their beliefs on gender equality?
  2. Do the EU countries differ in their beliefs on gender equality?
  3. How did the beliefs change over time?

In this last post, I want to wrap up my explorative analysis of the EVS and WVS data on gender equality in the workplace by summarizing the answers I could find on these 3 questions.

I will turn to question 2 first. The second analysis painted a rather clear picture of an EU-28 with widely differing beliefs on gender equality. There are huge gaps between the country specific agreement rates in the European Union. These differences diminished over the years, but still are clearly visible in the 2010 wave.

With that in mind, I’ll try to answer question 1. The first analysis clearly showed distinct differences between the EU and the US. While the agreement to a male prerogative on getting a job is lower in the US than in the EU, the agreement on double-earner households and the importance of a job for female independence is higher in Europe. These differences seem to blur, once the results on the intra-EU differences are introduced in the third analysis step. Only statement 3 still shows a clear difference, while on statements 1 + 2 the US values lie inside the range of EU countries. There are european countries that differ more from the EU mean than the US values do. So there is a difference, but maybe it is not as big as one could believe on a first glance.

In the EU the agreement on all three statements moved towards the support of more equality between genders. While the US mirrored this developement on statement 1, the agreement on statement 2 moved in the opposite direction (I formulated some ideas on why this could be the case in Analysis IV). As there is no US data on statement 3 before 2014, it is not possible to make any statements on the development over time here.

These results are just a first step and spawn a number of new interesting questions themselves. Why are there so big differences between the EU countries? Why is the agreement on statement 2 in the US moving in the opposite direction of the EU over time? What factors may be responsible for the differences?

To answer these and other questions, more detailed data would be necessary. I also think that a deep qualitative analysis would be appropriate to answer the questions on why these differences exist between countries.

Overall I feel that the results leave a positive impression. It seems we are moving towards beliefs and attitudes that support more gender equality in the workplace. What remains, is the question of how the people and governments should tackle this issue and transfer the beliefs into social reality by making employment opportunities and pay more equal between men and women. Like Cecialia showed us in this post, the EU has started this Journey, but we are not there yet.


One response to “Attitudes on Gender Equality in the Field of Work in the EVS & WVS over time – Summary and Conclusions

  1. Thank you for sharing this series of very interesting, dense and well researched posts! Almost forgotten vocabulary (boxplot!) from far gone statistic classes popped up again – but the data was very nicely and clearly presented… Not only informing but a good read!


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