Global survey finds Britons among the most likely to support equal opportunities for men and women

A new Ipsos global survey finds the British (94%) and Spanish (93%) the most likely to believe in equal opportunities for men and women. There is less of a consensus in Japan, where rather fewer – 71% – believe in equal opportunities, behind South Korea (72%), Poland (78%) and Hungry (82%).

What about how things actually work in practice? The survey finds 69% of British women feeling they have full equality with men and the freedom to reach their full aspirations. In this respect, the perceptions of British women are very much in line with those in the US (where the figure is 70%), with Canadian women at the head of the table with 78%.

On the other side of the Channel, French women have a rather different perspective. Just 42% feel they have full equality, with only Japan and Spain recording lower scores (36% and 30% respectively).

The survey serves as a reminder that the public feel there is work to be done. In Britain, 69% of the public say that there believe there are currently inequalities in terms of social, political and/or economic rights in Great Britain. This suggests that, while we may believe in equality, for many it is still an ideal, opposed to a reality. The Swedes are the most likely to say there is currently inequality in their country, which stands in stark contrast to their position in the European Institute for Gender Equality’s Gender Equality Index, which found Sweden was the most equal in Europe in 2010 (based on criteria such as: work, money, time, power, health and knowledge).

Simon Atkinson, Assistant Chief Executive at Ipsos MORI, said: “Although most British women now feel they have equality with men, the British public – men and women – acknowledge that there is more to be done. And outside the UK, our survey serves as a stark reminder that attitudes towards women’s role in society are by no means uniform around the globe.”