Is a woman's place in the home? 1 in 4 say yes

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Women head governments, run companies and comprise about half the world’s workforce, but a global poll shows that one in four people, most of them young, believe a woman’s place is in the home.

Susan, a 36-year-old maid from the Philippines, works at her employer's house in Singapore April 29, 2008. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

The survey of over 24,000 adults in 23 countries, conducted by Reuters/Ipsos and released on the eve of International Women’s Day, showed that people from India (54 percent), Turkey (52 percent), Japan (48 percent), China, Russia, Hungary (34 percent each) and South Korea (33 percent) were most likely to agree that women should not work.

And, perhaps surprisingly, people aged between 18 and 34 years are most likely to hold that view, not those from the older, and more traditional, generation.

However, the majority, or 74 percent, of those polled believe a woman’s place is certainly not at home.

“Over the past century, women, collectively, have made great gains not only in terms of societal participation - from politics to the workplace to sports and the media and to intellectual pursuit - but there are still barriers to many,” said John Wright, senior vice president of market research company Ipsos.

“This poll has a fundamental expression embraced by a full majority that women, individually or otherwise, should have the ability to choose to do what and where they believe they can make their greatest contribution” he said.

In countries where most people believed women should stay at home, or where the majority held the opposite view, there was little difference between the sexes, the survey showed. For example, in India, the country where more than half of those polled said women should stay home, an almost equal number of men and women held this view.

The following results table from the survey conducted between November and January begins with the countries where citizens are most likely to agree that “a women’s place is in the home.” All figures are percentages.

“A woman’s place is in the home”

Agree Disagree

India 54 46

Turkey 52 48

Japan 48 52

China 34 66

Russia 34 66

Hungary 34 66

South Korea 33 67

Czech Republic 28 72

Australia 25 75

United States 25 75

Great Britain 22 78

Netherlands 20 80

Canada 20 80

Italy 19 81

Poland 18 82

Belgium 16 84

Germany 14 86

Spain 12 88

Brazil 10 90

Sweden 10 90

Mexico 9 91

France 9 91

Argentina 9 91

Writing by Miral Fahmy, editing by Ron Popeski