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Half of women battle gender discrimination on a daily basis, survey finds

NEW YORK — Gender discrimination, whether overt or unintentional, can be a pervasive problem in society. It’s such a problem, in fact, that a survey of 2,000 American men and women finds most think there’s no way to fix it. Over six in 10 believe there will always be gender discrimination in the United States.

Researchers say that half of the 1,000 women questioned admit they face gender discrimination in one form or another almost daily. The survey also finds 72 percent of men agree women face daily prejudice. The study, commissioned by Vitamin Angels, was published in honor of International Women’s Day in March.

Among female respondents, 59 percent say they would have a more difficult time interviewing for a new job if they were pregnant. Sixty-five percent of all respondents believe women are questioned more than men in job interviews.

Moms and dads face discrimination too

Almost half of the parents polled claim they’ve experienced “parent-shaming” discrimination. Over 40 percent of mothers in the survey say a stranger has been rude to them while they breastfed in public. Four in 10 moms have also received dirty looks when they bring their child to a restaurant.

Moms aren’t the only ones feeling this scrutiny, as 54 percent of fathers claim a stranger was rude to them while they changed their child’s diaper in public. The most common reason was due to public bathrooms not having changing tables.

Health and empowerment in fight against gender discrimination

In spite of these daily discrimination, nearly 70 percent of women feel more empowered overall today than ever before. When breaking down this sense of empowerment, finding one’s passion (49%), having kids (48%), and self-confidence (44%) are the primary drivers. Living a healthy lifestyle could be the key to greater empowerment, too. Four in five women say they feel more empowered if they feel healthy.

“Healthy women are empowered women, and the cornerstone to thriving societies,” says Vitamin Angels Founder & President Howard Schiffer in a statement.

“Yet, maternal and women’s health remains a global public health problem. In order to help close the gender inequality gap, we must prioritize women’s health.”

The respondents also explain who they got their sense of empowerment from. Sixty percent of all respondents believe their mother is their chief inspiration. Seven in 10 women add that helping other women become empowered is a high priority for them. Almost 75 percent of everyone in the survey say women’s empowerment is a key to achieving true gender equality.

The survey included these additional findings:

Top five inspirational women as voted by respondents:

  1. Mother                       60%
  2. Teacher                     44%
  3. Grandmother             28%
  4. Aunt                          30%
  5. Sister                         28%

Top 15 ’empowering moments’ in our lives:

  1. Finding your passion in life                                      47%
  2. Becoming a parent                                                  47%
  3. Feeling confident in yourself                                    44%
  4. Inspiring others                                                        43%
  5. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle                                 43%
  6. Finding someone you can share your life with        39%
  7. Taking care of your mental health                           38%
  8. Getting a promotion                                                 36%
  9. Learning acceptance and patience                          36%
  10. Becoming a grandparent                                         34%
  11. Giving back to your community                               33%
  12. Experiencing new cultures                                      31%
  13. Becoming a godparent/guardian                             30%
  14. Traveling to new places                                           30%
  15. Becoming an aunt/uncle                                          28%

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.