Wednesday, 23 May 2018
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Eva Fodor and Aniko Balogh “Should Men Do the Dishes? - Cross-country Variations in Gender Role Opinions”


What explains cross-country differences in how people think about women’s and men’s role in society? This paper explores both macro and individual level factors shaping gender role opinions in the 13 post-communist countries included in the project, based on the assumption that political opinions are not merely the property of individuals but also that of the social context in which they are expressed. On the level of the individuals, we find that women, more educated, younger, less religious, economically active, urban people are more likely to hold “liberal” views on gender roles, i.e. support women’s labor force participation and believe that domestic work should be divided in a more equitable manner between the genders. There is little difference in this regard between respondents in our post-communist surveys and findings from research conducted elsewhere. With respect to the macro level factors we find that only the level of economic development is somewhat associated with gender role opinion formation, none of the other factors (such as religiosity, state social spending, women’s empowerment, integration in the global capitalist economy, the Soviet legacy, etc) help explain the –otherwise relatively small- variation across the countries. More refinement of the macro-level measures, a better measurement of the dependent variable and the inclusion of more countries would make this a possibly more robust finding.