Despite women being free of the domestic stereotype, balancing work and family duties is a top problem of working women globally. For example, a slim majority of men in Northern Africa (51%) - the highest percentage worldwide - and almost half of men in the Arab States (45%) would prefer that women stay home.
Globally, a total of 70 percent of women and a similar 66 percent of men would prefer that women work at paid jobs.
The study that was released on the celebration of the International Women's Day on Wednesday, March 8, surveyed 149,000 adults in 142 countries and territories.
Women worldwide would prefer to be either working at paid jobs at 29 percent or be in situations in which they could both work and take care of their families, or 41 percent. In 2016, in support of the ILO's Women at Work Centenary Initiative, Gallup asked almost 149,000 women and men in 142 countries and territories about their attitudes toward women and the world of work.
More women prefer to work than stay at home, according to a report by the International Labor Organization (ILO). Global and regional aggregates were calculated by projection weighting according to population size, and figures are representative of the entire adult population per region. Those in Northern, Southern, and Western Europe were the least likely to hold that opinion-only 12% said they preferred women to stay home. This includes several regions such as the Arab States, where women's labor participation rates are low, and regions where labor participation rates are higher, such as in Northern, Southern and Western Europe. Both men and women in the vast majority of countries and territories surveyed said so.
The concept that difficulties for women in paid jobs mount as they become more senior is so long established in the collective psyche that it has its own widely used term of "glass ceiling".
"In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, about as many cite reasons that fall into the response category of 'unfair treatment/discrimination" in the workplace (19%) as mention work-family balance (18%). However, women in both groups are most likely to want to both have paid jobs and care for their families and homes. The report found that, if a woman has similar education and experience to a man, women and men worldwide are most likely to say that she has the same opportunity to find a good job in the city or area where they live.
It was the same trend among the men, since 46 percent of them who said women in their family should do both are 15 to 29 years old and 42 percent were 30 years old and older.
"It was important for us to learn about the will of the people and go directly to the women and men themselves", Jon Clifton, the managing partner at Gallup, told Fortune. So, researchers reframed the question, asking men about their views on women's roles in the workforce and at home instead. The report represents a collaboration between the ILO and Gallup to provide the first-ever account of how men and women worldwide think and feel about women and work.
These attitudes vary, however, from region to region, and largely along women's educational attainment and their level of participation in the labour force.