Bulgaria, EU sexism champion: 81% say a woman’s most important job is taking care of home and family

Written by on November 21, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Bulgaria, EU sexism champion: 81% say a woman’s most important job is taking care of home and family

Eighty-one per cent of Bulgarians think that the most important role of a woman is to take care of her home and family – the highest rate in the European Union, according to a newly-released survey by Eurobarometer.

Bulgaria is followed by 78 per cent in Hungary, 77 per cent in Poland and the Czech Republic in holding this view, with Denmark (14 per cent) and the Netherlands (15 per cent) at the other end of the scale.

Overall, in 15 out of 28 EU countries, a majority believed that a woman’s place was in the home, according to the Eurobarometer survey, “Gender Equality 2017”.

“Respondents in Bulgaria are the most likely to stereotype based on gender, followed by those in Hungary and Lithuania. Gender stereotyping is lowest among respondents in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands,” the report said.

Sixty-four per cent of Bulgarians surveyed thought that gender equality had been achieved in politics in the country while 28 per cent said that it had not, with the rest undecided.

Sixty-seven per cent thought that gender equality at work had been achieved, while 26 per cent said that it had not.

In 15 EU countries, at least half of all respondents think gender equality in leadership positions in companies and other organisations has been achieved. Respondents in Latvia (69 per cent), Bulgaria, Romania (both 62 per cent) and Greece (61 per cent) are the most likely to think this way, while those in France (25 per cent), Spain (27 per cent) and Italy (35 per cent) are the least likely to do so.

More than six in ten respondents in each country believe it is acceptable for men to cry, with proportions ranging from 99 per cent in Sweden and 98 per cent in the Netherlands and Finland to 62 per cent in Bulgaria, 63 per cent in Lithuania and 64 per cent in Romania.

There are five countries where at least one quarter think it is not acceptable for men to cry: Lithuania (34 per cent), Romania (33 per cent), Bulgaria (32 per cent) and Slovakia and Croatia (both 25 per cent).

When it comes to the belief that women are more likely than men to make decisions on their emotions, Hungarians are the sexism champions, with 87 per cent holding this view.

But Bulgarians are not far behind: 83 per cent think women are more likely to make decisions based on their emotions – and the percentage who think this is the same in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Latvia.

Opinion about whether the most important role of a man is to earn money also varies widely across the EU. Respondents in Bulgaria (81 per cent), Hungary (79 per cent) and Slovakia (75 per cent) are the most likely to believe this, while those in Sweden (10 per cent), Denmark (17 per cent) and the Netherlands (18 per cent) are the least likely to do so.

Just more than half (54 per cent) of all respondents across the EU think there is a problem with the way women are presented in the media and advertising in their country, although only a minority (39 per cent) think this needs to be addressed, with a further 15 per cent saying it does not need to be addressed. Almost four in 10 say there is no problem (38 per cent).

Bulgaria and Latvia, both at 22 per cent, had the lowest rate of those who thought that there is a problem with the way that women are presented in the media and in advertising.

At least one in five respondents in Romania (30 per cent), Denmark (25 per cent), Croatia (22 per cent), Finland (21 per cent) and Austria (20 per cent) think there is a problem, but it does not need to be addressed. This compares to six per cent in Bulgaria, seven per cent in Latvia and eight per cent in Luxembourg.

In 10 EU countries, at least half of all respondents say there is no problem with the way women are presented in the media and advertising, with respondents in Latvia (69 per cent), Estonia (62 per cent), the Czech Republic (61 per cent) and Luxembourg and Bulgaria (both 60 per cent) the most likely to think this way. At the other end of the scale, one quarter of respondents in France and Spain say the same (both 25 per cent).

Three-quarters of Bulgarians approved of a man doing his equal share of household chores. Forty-eight per cent approved of a man reproaching his friends for making a sexist joke.

In Bulgaria, approval of a man identifying himself as a feminist was at 28 per cent.

Fifty per cent believed that politics is dominated by men who do not have sufficient confidence in women, while 41 per cent of Bulgarians think women are less interested than men in positions of responsibility in politics.

According to the Eurobarometer survey, 24 per cent of Bulgarians think women do not have the necessary qualities and skills to fill positions of responsibility in politics.

In 25 EU countries, the majority are in favour of legal measures to ensure parity between men and women in politics, with respondents in Portugal and Slovenia (both 89 per cent) and Croatia and Bulgaria (both 87 per cent) the most likely to be in favour.

As to the workplace, In 24 EU countries, the majority of respondents think women are paid less than men per hour of work, but there is a wide range of opinion.

More than nine in 10 in Sweden think this way (94 per cent), followed by 88 per cent in the Netherlands and 84 per cent in Germany. At the other end of the scale, 31 per cent in Romania, 34 per cent in Bulgaria, 39 per cent in Malta and 43 per cent in Greece think the same way.

Eighty-two per cent of Bulgarians said it was unacceptable for women to be paid less than men for the same job, nine per cent said that it was acceptable and the remainder, nine per cent, answered “don’t know”.

Respondents in Bulgaria are the most likely to stereotype based on gender, followed by those in Hungary and Lithuania. In contrast, the inclination towards gender stereotypes is lowest among respondents in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, the Eurobarometer survey found.

Countries with the highest gender stereotype index are most likely to be found in eastern, central and some southern member states, the report on the survey said.

(Photo: Ethan/flickr.com)

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About the Author

Clive Leviev-Sawyer is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Sofia Globe. He is the author of the book Bulgaria: Politics and Protests in the 21st Century (Riva Publishers, 2015).