Do men and women in East Anglia get treated equally?

Childcare. Picture: Willis Towers Watson

Childcare. Picture: Willis Towers Watson - Credit: Willis Towers Watson

Three out of four women in Norfolk and Suffolk say they have experienced some form of sexism, our survey ahead of this special edition has found.

Of the 119 women we asked, 83pc said they did not feel that men and women were treated equally – but 66pc said things had improved for women during their lifetime.

While 11pc disagreed, saying things were now worse for women, others said it varied and depended on the situation.

More than three quarters, 77pc, of women said they had experienced sexism, while 17pc said no, and 60pc said they had experienced sexual harassment or assault.

Just under half, 43pc, said they had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, and, of those, 72pc said they did not report it.

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A divide was shown in the definition of equality - though 96pc said both sexes should have equal rights, just 46pc said they considered themselves a feminist.

When asked why, one person said: 'To me, being a feminist means you support gender equality. I fully support that, I think women have a greater disadvantage in this area but that men also are sometimes undervalued as parents and we need to change things on both sides.'

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But one person said wanting equality did not need a label, another said they enjoyed 'good old-fashioned chivalry' and another said they felt certain jobs should be for men or women.

Some said they felt feminism had developed a 'bad reputation' or gone 'too far'.

When asked about roles at home, 43pc of women said they took on the majority of childcare, while 53pc said they handled the lion's share of housework.

One said: 'My partner thinks as he works full-time he does enough. Apparently there, children and home and running a business doesn't compare.'

Many said they preferred to take on the roles or that their partner worked longer hours and it felt like a fairer divide.

And at the end of the survey, we asked respondents for their thoughts on what – if anything – they felt the biggest issue facing women was today.

• 'Difficult to say as it depends on your culture and individual situation. I am fortunate and see no issues within my particular demographic. However there are many demographics within the UK and abroad that will have significant issues. I think the more severe issues are probably sexual trafficking or FGM.'

• 'Lack of support, lack of childcare, unequal pay, lack of opportunity, low confidence and expectations on returning to work. Take your pick!'

• 'Having to work twice as hard to be treated equally.'

• 'For working mums it's mental health issues.'

• 'People not being able to see past women's sexuality or their roles as caregivers.'

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