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Survey: what really matters to the modern woman

Media Release
For immediate release

07 March 2008

Next survey: what really matters to the modern woman

New Zealand women have flocked to have their say on modern life in a major survey commissioned by Next magazine, providing robust insight into the social issues that concern over 50 percent of the population.

The Next Report 2008, conceived and developed by Next and conducted by Nielsen Media Research, delves into a range of key lifestyle and employment issues.

“We discovered that New Zealand women are busier than ever, but 75.0% of them also agree that life for women today is better than ever before. The survey confirms what we know anecdotally about women having to balance a more complicated range of pressures in their lives. In short, life for Kiwi women is good, but it’s not always easy,” says Brenda Ward, Editor of Next.

Juggling work and family is one of the toughest challenges for New Zealand women. The survey found that 56.0% of New Zealand women think it’s important to have a career outside the home, yet of the survey respondents with children, 69.4% feel guilty when their children need them and they are at work. However, there is reason to believe that employers are becoming more sensitive to the competing demands on their female employees.

“It seems employers are aware of the challenges of life for the modern working woman, as 57.6% of all women surveyed said their employer was accommodating of their family needs. That’s great news – and it challenges the perception that companies are out of touch with their employees’ personal lives,” Ms Ward says.

Away from work, 75.0% of women say they feel equal to men at home. Despite this, however, over 60% of women still do the main household tasks of grocery shopping, cooking, tidying and cleaning.

“These were provocative results – they suggest that _perhaps Kiwi women don’t think about equality in terms of who does what, but rather in terms of equal division of labour in the home overall. It’s possible that although we want equality, we’re quite happy to keep up ‘traditional’ roles in some areas,” says Ms Ward.

Social issues such as law and order, safety and race were also examined and indicate that while life is good, there is still room to improve:

* 84.6% of survey respondents believe the laws should be tougher on lawbreakers;
* 64.4% think racial problems in New Zealand are getting worse; and
* Just over a third (33.6%) often fear for their personal safety.

The survey was one of the most popular online research projects undertaken by Nielsen Media Research.

“We had a great response, with a total sample size of 2,000 women. This indicates that the survey issues really resonate with New Zealand women – particularly when you consider the range of ages covered. It’s obviously timely to be bringing these social questions to the fore,” says Stuart Jamieson, Executive Director of Nielsen Media Research.

The sample of 2,000 women aged 15-plus was taken nationwide, and the results weighted to be representative of age, ethnicity, location and employment status.

“The survey has shed light on the modern New Zealand woman. It pinpoints what’s great in women’s lives, as well as where there is scope to make things even better,” Brenda says.

The survey results will be reported in full in the April issue of Next.

ENDS

Key results from the Next Report 2008:
* 75.0% of New Zealand women agree with the statement “for New Zealand women today, life is better than ever before”.
* 65.6% of New Zealand women believe they are busier than ever before.
* 61.4% feel there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.
* 83.9% of survey respondents believe a woman’s looks affect how they are treated.
* Four out of ten women who are married or living with a permanent partner say they are often too tired for sex.
* 84.6% believe the law should be tougher on lawbreakers.
* 64.4% think racial problems in New Zealand are getting worse.
* 33.6% often fear for their personal safety.
* 62.6% of women are involved in unpaid work outside their home.


ENDS

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