27 November 2019 | Report

Attitudes to equality: Understanding social norms, perceptions and practices around gender in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam


Investing in Women tackles one of the most critical social and economic issues of our time: gender inequality. It defines women’s economic empowerment as both the ability to succeed and advance economically and the power to make and act on economic decisions.

Women’s economic empowerment is not only a fundamental aspect of promoting gender equality; it is vital to enhancing business competitiveness, fuelling inclusive economic growth and building equitable societies.

Working towards women’s economic empowerment in South East Asia is about creating professional, economic and social opportunities for women, as well as eliminating barriers in the workplace and at home that prevent women from accessing opportunities. This requires changes to both discriminatory institutional practices and limiting social norms.

To gain a deeper understanding of women’s and men’s perceptions of gender equality, Investing in Women conducted the Social Norms, Attitudes and Practices Survey (SNAPS) in 2018 on women’s and men’s roles at work and at home to explore the social norms that may hinder economic growth, as well as the attitudes and practices that underpin these social norms. The study included survey results from 6,000 respondents, composed of both women and men, in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

This report summarises the findings from that survey, in a format designed to help readers understand the social norms, perceptions and practices around gender in the above-mentioned South East Asian countries.




  • Executive Summary
    • Key Findings
    • Understanding social norms can better inform strategies for change
  • Introduction
    • The Social Norms, Attitudes and Practices Survey (SNAPS)
    • Objective
    • Methodology
    • Topics covered
    • Limitations
  • Key Findings
    • Insight 1: Women’s professional ambitions are similar to men’s
    • Insight 2: Women work mainly to become economically independent or to contribute to their family’s income, but many are also motivated to work for professional development or personal fulfilment.
    • Insight 3: While there is a broad recognition of gender equality in workplaces, women continue to encounter discriminatory attitudes and practices.
    • Insight 4: While women and men have different perceptions of who has responsibility for specific domestic duties, both women and men are sharing domestic and care work in the home.
    • Insight 5: While there is strong support for parental leave for both mothers and fathers, there is a limited take-up of parental leave, particularly by fathers.
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Annexes
  • Infographics


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