Most women worldwide prefer to work at paid jobs; men in their family agree: ILO-Gallop survey

Published on: March 8, 2017
In India, more men than women would like to see the females in their family seek employment outside their homes

Working Women


A large majority of women across the globe – 70 per cent – would prefer to work at paid jobs. This includes a majority of women who are currently not working as also women from countries, including  Arab states, where women have traditionally stayed at home.

Interestingly, a majority of men too – 66 per cent – would also like to see women from their families at paid jobs.

In India, however, the situation is reverse. More men – 65 per cent – than women – 52 per cent – would like to see the female sex at paid jobs.

The above findings are the result of a global survey conducted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in collaboration with Gallup in 2016. During the survey, 1,49,000 adults from over 142 countries and territories were interviewed.
Other highlights of the report:
  • Most men and women think it is acceptable for the women in their families to have paid jobs outside their home if they want to. Significantly, the response was the same in every region across the world.
  • Families play a significant role in shaping opinion. Among women from households in which it is not acceptable for women to be working outside, 61 per cent said they prefer to stay at home.
  • Almost universally both men and women said the “balance between work and family” was the biggest challenge working women are faced with. However, the nature of the challenges faced is different. While in developed and emerging economies, balancing work and family is the prime concern, unfair treatment at work, lack of affordable child care are the main problems working women face in developing economies.
  • Worldwide the majority of employed women say what they earn is at least a significant source of their household’s income. Over 25 per cent of the women respondents said they provide the main income for their household.
  • While global trends suggest that women and men share some common ground on several issues, women face unique challenges in every region and every demographic.
The full report may be viewed here.