Poll: World's Publics Favor Women's Equality
By Aditya Ganapathiraju at Mar 08, 2009
As many celebrate International Women's Day, an widespread consensus of people across the world feel that women should have "full equality of rights," according to an updated comprehensive poll conducted by the University of Maryland.
The poll, which encompassed 22 nations representing 60% of the world’s population, found an average of 86% agreeing that it was important that "women to have full equality of rights compared to men," with 59% saying it's "very important."
Ninety-seven percent of US respondents felt equal rights for women were either important (77%) or very important (20%), along with similar large majorities in Mexico (89%), Britain (89%), Turkey (80%), China (76%), France (75%), Indonesia (71%), and Argentina (71%).
Large majorities of all the Muslim nations surveyed also felt equality was important: Iran (78%), Jordan (83%), Azerbaijan (85%), Egypt (90%), Indonesia (91%), Turkey (91%), and the Palestinian territories (93%).
A majority of nations surveyed felt that the government should do more to prevent discrimination. Forty-eight percent in the US agreed while 35% said the government was doing enough. A world average of two thirds of respondents also agreed that the UN should do more to protect women's rights.
"The idea that women should have equal rights is fairly new in the context of human history," said Steven Kull, director of WorldPublicOpinion.org, adding that there's a global consensus across cultures for both equal rights and government protection from discrimination.