~ March 2023 ~
It’s Women’s History Month in the U.S., and what better way to celebrate than with the cold, hard truth?
According to Bumble’s annual State of the Nation report — findings from a survey of around 2,500 American adults commissioned by the app — there’s a “reality gap” between what survey respondents believe versus what is experienced in real life. Nearly half, 46 percent, of Gen Z surveyed believe that gender equality is improving, but the rest of the data tells a different story.
The report, which centers around the current state of equality in dating and relationships, career, finances, and more, found that 87 percent of respondents agreed that “relationships that share power equality lead to better sex.” Forty percent overall and 47 percent of Gen Z, however, said that “relationships work best when the man takes the lead.”
While 54 percent said it doesn’t matter who strikes up a conversation with someone they’re interested in, only 11 percent said that women should make the first move on a dating app.
It seems that those surveyed are idealistic about gender equality, but see that there’s a long way to go. Ninety-one percent of respondents agree on the definition of gender equality: “Men and women are equal, and should be given equal opportunities in all things.” The same amount of those surveyed, 91 percent, believe improving women’s rights would make the world a better place for everyone. Still, 79 percent of respondents — including 84 percent of women surveyed — said that women have to compromise between career, relationships, and family that men don’t.
People surveyed also acknowledged financial inequality, and how that impacts women: 80 percent said that the lack of financial independence is a major reason women stay in unhappy relationships. Sixty-five percent stated that social systems make women financially dependent on men.
In terms of career equality, 81 percent of women respondents said that inequality in childcare roles leads to inequality in career achievements; only 71 percent of men surveyed agreed. More men than women, though — 58 and 54 percent, respectively — said that taking maternity leave disadvantages women’s career prospects. Overall, 76 percent of respondents (83 percent of women and 69 percent of men) said mothers feel more guilty spending time furthering their careers than fathers do.
This Women’s History Month, it’s clear that there’s much to be done in terms of gender equality. Let’s hope that next year, the reality gap narrows.
A version of this article originally appeared here on mashable.com