A century after women gained the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment, Americans say there’s more work to be done on gender equality, according to a new study.
Conducted by Pew Research, the study surveyed 3,143 Americans between March and April. The data acquired was then weighted to match the U.S. adult population by gender, age, education, race and ethnicity and other categories.
Here’s what they found:
Progress and Obstacles
Forty-nine percent of those surveyed said giving women the right to vote has been the single most important milestone in advancing the position of women.
Another 29 percent said of the Equal Pay Act as the most important milestone in advancing the position of women.
Twelve percent said the passage of the Family Medical Leave Act and 8 percent cited the availability of the birth control pill as the single most important milestone.
When respondents were asked what marker would signify gender equality, 45 percent said equal pay is something they would expect to see in a society where women have equal rights with men. Nineteen percent said no discrimination in hiring and promotion.
The study found that 78 percent of Americans favor adding the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution. Women are more likely than men to say they strongly favor adding the amendment to the U.S. Constitution (39% vs. 31%).
Despite the widespread support, 49 percent of Americans said the amendment wouldn’t have much impact on women’s rights across the country.
When it comes to obstacles of gender equality, 77 percent of respondents said sexual harassment was a major obstacle.
Other obstacles included were:
Women not having the same legal rights as men … 67%
Different expectations society has for men/women … 66%
Not enough women in positions of power … 64%
Family responsibilities … 43%
Men and women having different physical abilities … 19%
Women not working as hard as men … 13%
Feminism and Politics
According to the study, Americans feel that feminism has helped women at least a little.
64 … the percentage of white women who said that feminism helped them at least a little.
61 … the percentage of Black women who said that feminism helped them at least a little.
58 … the percentage of Hispanic women who said that feminism helped them at least a little.
Twenty-four percent of respondents said feminism has helped wealthy women a lot. Just 10 percent say it’s been equally helpful to poor women.
The Pew study also found that political ideology had an effect on how equality and the obstacles to obtaining gender equality.
Among respondents, Democrats are viewed as having contributed more to women’s rights.
Fifty-nine percent of say the Democratic Party has done at least a fair amount of to advance women’s rights compared to 37 percent who said the same of the Republican Party.
Eighty-six percent of Democrats or those who lean Democrat were more likely than Republicans or those who lean Republican to say that it’s very important for women to have equal rights with men (86% vs. 71%).
Twenty-two percent of respondents said that gender equality has come at the expense of men. Thirty-eight percent of Republican men and 25 percent of Republican women agreed compared to 19 percent of Democratic men and 12 percent of Democratic women.