In 1920, 144 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, women in the United States were given the right to vote. Ninety years later, gender equality is still discussed and debated. When it comes to whether things are fine between men and women, the nation is split - just over half of Americans (52 percent) disagree that things are fine between the genders while 43% say things are fine. But men and women have a different take on the situation with over half of men (55%) believing things are fine compared to just one-third (32%) of women who say the same.

Even more Americans (63%) agree that the U.S. still has a long way to go to reach complete gender quality. While three-quarters of women (74%) agree with this, so do just over half of men (52%).

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,227 adults surveyed online between June 14 and 21, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

Whether the issue of gender equality should be addressed is another question in these times with so many other pressing issues. Three-quarters of U.S. adults (74%) agree that they do not think gender equality is perfect, but there are more pressing issues to fix first. And men and women are in agreement on this (74% of men agree as do 75% of women).

Women and Work
One of the discrepancies the Equal Rights Amendment was hoping to correct was inequality in the workplace among men and women. But seven in ten Americans (69%) say that women often do not receive the same pay as men for doing exactly the same job. Three in five U.S. adults (62%) agree that women are often discriminated against in being promoted for supervisory and executive jobs. Women are much more likely than men to agree with this but almost half of men also agree with both sentiments. Four in five women (80%) agree that women often do not receive the same pay for the same job compared to 58% of men, and 75% of women agree women are discriminated against in their promotions compared to 48% of men.

Half of Americans (50%) say women often receive lower pensions or pay more on annuities than men doing the same work while 23% disagree with this and 27% are not at all sure. And it's not just with pay that there are issues. More Americans believe women often have much more trouble than men in getting credit, bank loans and mortgages (42% agree with this while 36% disagree) and that women are often discriminated in the insurance rates they pay (38% agree; 33% disagree).

But it isn't all bad. Over half of Americans (52%) say most employers are willing make the conditions of work flexible enough to help women with families who want to go to work. Again, there is a gender difference here as three in five men (60%) agree with this compared to less than half of women (46%).

So What?
In 90 years, many things have changed for women in this country. And some may argue things are better, but there is still the undercurrent that there are issues, especially when it comes to pay and employment, where things have not yet approached an equal footing with men. Women are sitting in more boardrooms and at the helms of more companies today, but there is a sense they are not yet getting paid the same as men in those positions. There is also a sense that something else may have been lost. Four in five Americans (81%) and four in five men and women (81% for both) say women today are treated with less chivalry than in the past. Can women have both equal pay and chivalry? Or can it be only or the other?

TABLE 1

  GENDER EQUALITY TODAY

"On another subject, August of this year will mark the 90th anniversary of women receiving the right to vote in the United States. How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements about gender equality in the United States today?"

Base: All adults


                       AGREE    Strongly  Somewhat  DISAGREE
                       (NET)     Agree      Agree     (NET)
                          %        %          %         %
  I don't think that
   gender equality is
   perfect in the
   United States, but
   there are more
   important issues
   to fix first.           74         36        38        21
  The U.S. still has
   a long way to go
   to reach complete
   gender equality.        63         30        34        32
  Things are fine the
   way they are
   between men and
   women.                  43         13        30        52





                       Somewhat   Strongly  Not at
                                              all
                       Disagree   Disagree   sure
                           %          %        %
  I don't think that
   gender equality is
   perfect in the
   United States, but
   there are more
   important issues
   to fix first.              14         7       5
  The U.S. still has
   a long way to go
   to reach complete
   gender equality.           21        11       5
  Things are fine the
   way they are
   between men and
   women.                     33        19       5

  Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding

  TABLE 2

  GENDER EQUALITY TODAY

"On another subject, August of this year will mark the 90th anniversary of women receiving the right to vote in the United States. How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements about gender equality in the United States today?"

Percent saying "Strongly Agree" or "Somewhat Agree"

  Base: All adults


                       Total                 Generation
                                 Echo     Gen. X     Baby    Matures
                               Boomers    (34-45)  Boomers      (65+)
                               (18-33)             (46-64)
                          %        %         %         %         %
  I don't think that
   gender equality is
   perfect in the
   United States, but
   there are more
   important issues
   to fix first.           74        75        78        75        67
  The U.S. still has
   a long way to go
   to reach complete
   gender equality.        63        62        55        66        71
  Things are fine the
   way they are
   between men and
   women.                  43        45        49        39        42





                             Gender           Political Party
                        Male   Female   Rep.    Dem.   Ind.
                          %       %       %       %      %
  I don't think that
   gender equality is
   perfect in the
   United States, but
   there are more
   important issues
   to fix first.           74       75     76      71     77
  The U.S. still has
   a long way to go
   to reach complete
   gender equality.        52       74     51      77     59
  Things are fine the
   way they are
   between men and
   women.                  55       32     53      33     47


  TABLE 3

  WOMEN AND EQUAL TREATMENT

"Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following statements"

Base: All adults


                       AGREE    Strongly  Somewhat  DISAGREE
                       (NET)     Agree      Agree     (NET)
                         %         %          %         %
  Women today are
   treated with less
   chivalry than in
   the past                81         36        45        10
  Women often do not
   receive the same
   pay as men for
   doing exactly the
   same job                69         35        34        22
  Women are often
   discriminated
   against in being
   promoted for
   supervisory and
   executive jobs          62         23        38        27
  Most employers are
   willing to make
   the conditions of
   work flexible
   enough to help
   women with
   families who want
   to go to work           52         11        42        35
  Women often
   receive lower
   pensions or pay
   more on annuities
   than men doing
   the same work           50         22        28        23
  Women often have
   much more trouble
   than men in
   getting credit,
   bank loans and
   mortgages               42         15        27        36
  Women are often
   discriminated
   against in the
   insurance rates
   they pay                38         15        23        33
  Women receive the
   same pay as men
   for doing
   comparable jobs
   with similar
   skill and
   training                35         11        24        56





                      Somewhat   Strongly  Not at
                                             all
                      Disagree   Disagree   sure
                          %          %        %
  Women today are
   treated with less
   chivalry than in
   the past                   7         3       9
  Women often do not
   receive the same
   pay as men for
   doing exactly the
   same job                  15         6       9
  Women are often
   discriminated
   against in being
   promoted for
   supervisory and
   executive jobs            21         7      11
  Most employers are
   willing to make
   the conditions of
   work flexible
   enough to help
   women with
   families who want
   to go to work             25        10      13
  Women often
   receive lower
   pensions or pay
   more on annuities
   than men doing
   the same work             16         7      27
  Women often have
   much more trouble
   than men in
   getting credit,
   bank loans and
   mortgages                 24        12      21
  Women are often
   discriminated
   against in the
   insurance rates
   they pay                  22        11      29
  Women receive the
   same pay as men
   for doing
   comparable jobs
   with similar
   skill and
   training                  35        21       9

  Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding

  TABLE 4

  WOMEN AND EQUAL TREATMENT

"Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following statements"

Percent saying "Strongly Agree" or "Somewhat Agree"

  Base: All adults



                 Total               Generation                   Gender
                         Echo   Gen. X      Baby   Matures  Male   Female
                       Boomers  (34-45)   Boomers     (65+)
                       (18-33)            (46-64)
                   %       %       %         %         %      %       %
  Women today
   are
   treated
   with less
   chivalry
   than in
   the past         81       78      81         83       81    81       81
  Women often
   do not
   receive
   the same
   pay as men
   for doing
   exactly
   the same
   job              69       66      64         72       76    58       80
  Women are
   often
   discriminated
   against in
   being
   promoted
   for
   supervisory
   and
   executive
   jobs             62       58      55         64       72    48       75
  Most
   employers
   are
   willing to
   make the
   conditions
   of work
   flexible
   enough to
   help women
   with
   families
   who want
   to go to
   work             52       50      58         51       54    60       46
  Women often
   receive
   lower
   pensions
   or pay
   more on
   annuities
   than men
   doing the
   same work        50       46      42         54       56    42       58
  Women often
   have much
   more
   trouble
   than men
   in getting
   credit,
   bank loans
   and
   mortgages        42       28      32         49       63    33       51
  Women are
   often
   discriminated
   against in
   the
   insurance
   rates they
   pay              38       31      34         41       49    29       46
  --------------   ---      ---     ---        ---      ---   ---      ---
  Women
   receive
   the same
   pay as men
   for doing
   comparable
   jobs with
   similar
   skill and
   training         35       36      43         32       32    46       25
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