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Monday, 8 March 2010

International Women's Day puts spotlight on domestic violence

As the world marks Women’s Day, a poll of over 24,000 adults in 23 countries found that one-in-four people still believe a woman's place is at home. Millions of women across the globe still face discrimination and domestic violence.

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.

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.