Why should a woman work

82 percent of men want their wife to work. This is the result of a study commissioned by the Family Ministry. From the paper with the title "Men's Perspectives" (PDF here), the men surveyed even state that they are convinced that the professional activity of both partners is conducive to a relationship. So far so good. Equality, check! Not quite!

The supposed victory for gender equality is at best a stage success. For the 1,550 men surveyed in 2015, economic interests play a role when they think about their partner's occupation. Because although a third of men (32 percent) are "completely" of the opinion that equality is very important for the cohesion of society (79 percent of all men agree with this), just as many say that the "classic breadwinner model" is "have served me. A partnership in which only one of the main breadwinners is, is therefore "no longer economically viable" and "too risky in the course of life".

If the man has a secure job and also earns enough money, the expectations of the woman also shift. Almost half of the men (49 percent) still think that their wives then do not have to work themselves.

Classic role models not replaced

It is true that the classic division of roles between men and women is apparently no longer as firmly anchored in society as it was ten years ago. But many still find it difficult to break away from traditional models. You want equality in the light version. A compromise that is referred to in the study as a "partially traditional division of roles". True to the motto: the man as the main breadwinner brings the money home, the woman takes care of the offspring and earns something if necessary. The proportion of men who think this way has been around 35 percent for years.

Some even go a step further and take clear anti-feminist positions. According to the report, 18 percent of men generally do not think it is good when both partners work - five percent strongly believe this.

At least one can see a trend towards equality. Ten years ago, 64 percent of men found that their wives can stay at home if they can both earn enough. On the other hand, the main expectation that the partner should keep the man's back free for his professional activity has not changed since 2007. 85 percent of the respondents agree.

The men are surprisingly self-critical of the motives for their own careers. Even 40 percent say that going to the office every day can also be an escape from household chores. If the couple decides to start a family, traditional role behavior creeps into everyday life. In the past, men mainly took care of repair work in the house, but the study now comes to the conclusion that they are at least increasingly "committed" to relieve their partner. The main burden of housework, however, remains with the woman.

Offspring remains a matter for women, but men want to help

As soon as children come into play, fathers now feel more responsible than they did a few years ago. More than every third man thinks that a father should take a break from work in the first few months of his child's life. The authors of the study come to the conclusion "that the hermetic perspective, institutionalized for decades, that 'men can only do little family work for professional reasons' (...) is gradually disappearing in the minds of men". Obviously, a generation change is taking place: of today's 70-year-old men, only 20 percent share this opinion, of those under 30, 59 percent.

In the study, however, the men criticize the difficulties in reconciling family and work. Two thirds of fathers with children under the age of two complain about the high hurdles for being able to get involved. For example, 94 percent of fathers want daycare opening hours to be based on the model of mothers who work part-time. This is reflected in the numbers. 80 percent of fathers take time to look after their children and apply for parental leave, but only for two months. On the other hand, 92 percent of women stay at home for ten months or longer and still do most of the family work.

Equality for both sexes

The majority of men understand that the rights of women and mothers must be strengthened (62 percent). At the same time, however, they also demand that politics must deal with the needs of men. "From their point of view, gender equality policy must focus equally on equality between women and men," the document says.

Regardless of the increasing acceptance of gender equality policy among the population, there is also a radical anti-feminist, emphatically "masculist" trend. Men with this attitude believe that equality policy is just another name for discrimination against men. One percent of the respondents hold this opinion, so five percent are firmly convinced of this assumption.

For the study, 3,000 men and women aged 18 and over were interviewed using the same research methods in 2007 and 2015. The evaluation is part of the 2016 Gender Equality Study. It is intended to provide information on whether men's attitudes and behavior towards equality and gender equality, responsibility for income and family work, the idea of ​​attractive masculinity (and femininity) and gender equality policy have changed in recent years have changed.

With material from epd and dpa.