The Environics Institute: Global Attitudes About Women as National Leaders

In the fall of 2016, the Environics Institute conducted a survey regarding public support for women as leaders in the political space. Using the RIWI Global Omnibus, the survey was completed by 62,918 respondents in 60 countries worldwide between November 4 and December 10, 2016.

The survey posed the following question to a representative sample of roughly 1,000 citizens in each country:

Do you totally agree, agree, disagree or totally disagree with the following statement:

“Women are just as qualified as men to lead our country.”

Despite the rarity of female national leaders globally, this survey reveals a surprising level of public support for the idea that women are just as qualified as men to lead one’s country. A clear majority in almost all of the 60 countries surveyed agree with this idea, and in many at least half “totally” agree. By comparison, in only a handful of countries do more than one in six “totally disagree” with the premise.

The results of the survey were also the basis for an article by Terry Glavin for Canada’s National Post, covering the surprising insight that age and education levels played no clear role in whether people agreed that women are as qualified as men to serve in political leadership positions.