New data from the soon to be released Ipsos MORI Global Trends Survey, shows that one third (34%) of online adults across 20 countries agree that the role of women in society is to be good mothers and wives, while six in ten (60%) disagree. However, Russia bucks the global trend with three in four (73%) saying that women’s role is to be a good mother and a wife, as do majorities in India at 56% and China at 54%. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sweden is at the other end of the spectrum with only 9% of people agreeing women should play this role, along with several other Western countries such as Spain (11%), France (16%), Italy (22%), Belgium, Canada (both 23%), and Britain (24%).

Across the globe there are significant discrepancies in how the sexes view the role of women in society, with men more likely to take a traditional view. And this is not just true of the countries at the top of the table, such as Russia (67% of women agree, compared with 79% of men), India (52% of women, 61% of men) and China (45% of women, 64% of men). Even in countries that are less likely to view a woman’s role in society as being a good wife and mother, there is still a difference in the views of men and women, such as in Sweden (4% of women agree, compared with 13% of men) Canada (19% of women, 28% of men), Australia (25% of women, 34% of men) and Germany (27% of women, 36% of men).

Russian’s perceptions of women in society are reinforced by the fact that only 38% agree that things would work better if more women held positions with responsibilities in government and companies. They share the bottom of the table with Argentina (also 38%) and South Korea (39%).

Meanwhile, half of Britons (54%) agree that things would improve if women held more positions of power, in line with the global average of 53%. India (69%), Turkey (68%), Italy (66%) and Brazil (64%) are the most likely to feel that more women in power would be beneficial to the way things work in their country.

See the graph on which countries support women in positions of power (and which do not) on our facebook page