Assessing the Existence of Empathetic Attitude of Bangladeshi Urban Men Towards Working Women

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 16:06
Oral Presentation
Hafsa MARYAM, American International University, Bangladesh
The number of women getting employed in formal jobs is increasing rapidly in Bangladesh. With this, the traditional concept of gender roles is also shifting. This paper aims to understand the degree of empathy married men feel towards the participation of females in workforce in Bangladesh. Being a conservative society, the traditional belief has always been towards men as the earners and providers while women are supposed to be the caretakers. The primary purposes of this paper are to assess and compare the perception of married men, whose wives are either working or non-working, towards women who are working in formal jobs. In addition to the marital status, the other parameters of this study will be the age, income, the societal and the religious background of the participants.

A sample of 288 male participants was used, out of which 138 had working wives and the rest 150 men had stay at home wives. The instruments used in the survey were the newly developed multidimensional aversion to women who work scale (MAWWWS) and another questionnaire developed by the researchers.

Changing family structures and access to education were reported to be the dominant determinants towards empathetic attitudes towards working women. Moreover, young men were found to be more understanding about working females. It was found out that those working women were more favored who could prioritize their family responsibilities over their professional roles.

This study is about the societal prejudices as well the acceptances that women who are engaged in income generating activities receive from their spouses and from other men, especially in their respective workplaces. There isn’t much availability of literature about the overall attitude of men towards working women in the context of Bangladesh. It should be replicated in other countries to investigate the resulting differences, if any.