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Survey Refutes Western Claims That Russian Society is Sexist

Survey shows Russians overwhelmingly believe women are as capable as men and a majority believe they have equal life opportunities to men

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This post first appeared on Russia Insider

A common Western trope is that Russia is a deeply sexist society.  

Back in November 2014 - shortly after Russia Insider was started - it published a truly demented anti-Russian rant that made precisely that claim.

A survey published by VTsIOM shows Russians see their society completely differently, with an overwhelming majority (93%, up from 57% in 1991) thinking women are as capable of making successful careers in business as men, and a clear majority (56%, up from 39% in 1991) believing women enjoy equal life chances to men after they complete their education.

In this area as in so many others Western perceptions and Russian realities are completely different.


This article was first published by TASS

An overwhelming majority of Russians (93%) are certain that women are capable of making successful careers in business no worse than men, as follows from an opinion poll by the national public opinion studies center VTsIOM.

"An overwhelming majority of Russians have no doubts women can be successful in business. Over the past quarter of a century the share of such respondents has been up 1.5 times (from 57%), while those who doubt that have reduced to 5% (against 20% in 1991)," VTsIOM said on its web site.

Over the past 25 years the share of Russians who believe that after receiving education men and women have equal chances of finding a job in line with one’s training has increased from 39% (in 1991) to 56%.

In the meantime, the most well-known woman politician in Russia is Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko. Asked to name the woman politician or public figure who instantly comes to mind 34% recalled Matvieynko. Liberal politician Irina Khakamada placed second with 6%. Also, respondents mentioned Germany’s Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russia’s controversial TV hostess Ksenia Sobchak, gymnast Alina Kabayeva and Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova.

Most Russians are unable to point to the woman whom they see as the symbol of Modern Russia. Twenty seven percent said with certainty there are no such personalities, and 50% remained undecided. The top three named by those who have some opinion on that score looks as follows: Valentina Matviyenko (5%), the first woman in space Valentina Tereshkova (4%) and pop star Alla Pugacheva (3%).

The VTsIOM poll was held on February 27-28, 2016 in 130 communities and cities in 46 regions, territories and republics of Russia. An audience of 1,600 men and women of age was questioned. The statistical error margin did not exceed 3.5%.

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