Human civilization has historically tended towards patriarchal societies where men hold dominance in many aspects, especially when it came to women. But because it's 2015 (as the newly elected Canadian prime minister said about his gender-equal cabinet), things are now quite different — aren't they? A recent YouGov poll showing countries where gender is most equal and unequal based on attitudes shows although the times have certainly changed, some nations have yet to catch up.
The global survey went to 24 countries to ask about gender equality. It posed questions and agree/disagree statements to participants about gender, such as "It is unattractive for women to express strong opinions in public" and "A wife's first role is to look after her husband."
As a whole, Nordic countries fared the best in their attitudes on gender equality, with Sweden nabbing first place. European countries dominate the first eight spots. The U.S. came in at ninth place, followed by Asian countries such as China, Hong Kong, and Thailand. Middle Eastern nations remained conservative on their outlook of gender, coming in last in the survey.
The results aren't unsurprising: in 2014, the Global Gender Gap Index (measuring gender inequalities in education, economics, health, and politics) listed Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark as the top five most equal countries.
The survey is the first YouGov has conducted that collects people's opinions on gender. Attitudes on women's role in society and what their rights are is an indication of the level of equality in countries by law.
Gender inequality is at the root of grave issues such as female infanticide, to the injustices of society dictating how women should look and behave. Though the fight for gender equality is becoming more mainstream — thanks in no small part to female celebrities embracing it — the poll's results show that there remains a lot to be done.
Cover image via World Bank Photo Collection via Flickr