Sunday 16 May 2021

4 out of 10 Costa Ricans still believe that there are careers for men only

40% of Costa Ricans do not believe that "women finish school more than men", even though statistics show otherwise

“There are careers that are considered male or only for men.” With this affirmation, 4 out of 10 Costa Ricans agree, as reflected in the National Survey of Perception of Human Rights of Women in Costa Rica (Encuesta Nacional de Percepción de Los Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres en Costa Rica), in which 39% of the interviewees (430 people out of 1,101) were in favor of th

at premise.


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On March 8, thousands marched in San José in favor of women’s rights, as part of the celebrations of International Women’s Day. Photo: John Durán. / La Nacion

The measurement was made as part of the Third State of the Human Rights of Women in Costa Rica (III Estado de Los Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres en Costa Rica), an initiative that the National Institute of Women (Inamu), made public on Thursday.


The survey that was taken between April 1 and May 1, 2017, of men and women, in equal parts, over 18 years of age, of rural and urban areas of the country. It has a margin of error of +/- 3%.

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The study was carried out in conjunction with the School of Statistics of the University of Costa Rica (UCR).

Though those who support the claim that “there are careers for men only” are not the majority (671 people disagreed), the fact that still a representative number of people in Costa Rica does validate it, poses a challenge for society, considers the study.

“They do realize that there is still an important group of the population that attributes to the biological-sexual difference a personal and social determination, as it is the choice of professional career”, says the report.

Another finding is that 33.6% agree with the phrase: “There are careers that are considered feminine or only for women”.

“This is the first time that the State of the Human Rights of Women in Costa Rica has addressed the educational axis,” said Xiomara Chaves, interim head of the Inamu (National Institute for Woman) research unit.

According to Chaves, despite the fact that women in the country have a longer and more successful educational trajectory than men, the perception of their education and their labor insertion are still marked by gender stereotypes.

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72.8% said they agreed with: “by their nature, women are better at listening, caring and helping other people”.

“Undoubtedly, the need to generate a greater cultural change that modifies the segregation of spaces ‘for women’ and ‘for men’ in education and professional development, because it generates disadvantages for women in their labor insertion,” explains the study.

More biases on education

On what are those beliefs based? According to the Inamu research, “stereotypes that link biological characteristics with specific abilities persist, generating a framework for discrimination from an early age.”

Almost 22% of the respondents said they agree that “girls are better in Spanish and boys, in Mathematics”.

Inamu research notes that, in 2017, university careers in basic sciences and engineering were dominated by men, while education and health sciences by women.

Women continue to lead careers in education and health sciences, while men dominate in basic sciences and engineering.

“They are still (women) far from reaching parity in careers related to science, technology and engineering, and, on the contrary, have a greater concentration in education, health and social sciences”, adds the Inamu research.

40% of the interviewees disagreed with the statement that “women finish school more than men”, even though statistics reveal otherwise, the research adds.

In 2018, data from the Department of Statistical Analysis of the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) indicated that the gross rate of “schooling in the third cycle and diversified education” was 99.1% for women and 92.8% for men.

The reality is that women report a higher rate of schooling than men.

This study also revealed that in terms of economic and labor rights, there has been little progress in the country.

Of every 10 women, only 5 manage to find paid employment and women without their own income double the number of men in that condition, not counting that women continue with double and even triple work days.

The study shows that, in 2017, for every 100 women who could not work to meet family or personal obligations, only about 3 men faced that same condition.

However, the picture is not entirely negative. A finding of the study was that society now recognizes other types of violence, including street harassment, improper relations, political violence and obstetric violence.

Source: La Nacion



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