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Britain thinks it has won the gender equality war. That's a bad sign

5 26 15

Progress can often be its own worst enemy. After a month in which the nation’s attention was diverted towards the inadequate understanding of the dangers women face from sexual predators, a new survey by King’s College London on perceptions of inequality reveals that the UK is exceptional among similar nations in its attitudes towards gender inequality.

In short, the British seem to have relegated gender inequality to the consigned-to-the-past category, with only 23% of those surveyed considering it a top concern. In this the British are an anomaly, diverging clearly from other European countries and sitting closer to nations such as China, where respondents posted similarly low levels of concern about female inequality. In fact, among the 28 countries surveyed, Britain and Hungary were the lowest-ranking western countries.

A general profile of the UK emerges through the rest of the attitudes it registers about inequality overall. Britain is highly concerned about disparities in income and wealth, and especially when they fall along geographical lines. Britain also posts relatively high anxiety about racial and ethnic inequality – much higher than the European average – which seems to be at odds with the generally hostile environment towards racial justice campaigners since the Black Lives Matter protests last summer.

The picture seems to be of a country where there is a robust desire for social justice and a good grasp of its current contours of inequality – except when it comes to........

© The Guardian

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