How are women treated in other countries compared to the US

‘The difference is probably in the way we perceive the treatment.’

Feminist movements are becoming more visible not only in the U.S. but also in many other parts of the world.

However, every country has their unique culture and traditions, so women in different countries face different issues and have different thoughts on equality. It is important to understand others’ cultures and learn how the equality landscape is changing globally.

In order to catch a small glimpse of cultural differences regarding the treatment of women, I asked women from five different countries to compare and contrast how women are treated in their home countries and in the States.

Nandhitha Venkatesh, 21, India

“There’s a definite difference between how women are treated at home and in the U.S. Women are more accepted in the U.S. At home, my curfew is about 6 p.m., and that’s because it’s so unsafe for women outside home.

I wouldn’t change a thing about myself – name or nationality. No matter what, India is always home. And there’s so much in India I value, that I cannot find in other places. As a woman, I just wish India would become safer and a more empowered place for women. I think, it’s happening. It’s just taking its time.”

Grecia Merodio, 20, Mexico

“I think the stereotype of ‘the wife that stays at home taking care of the kids’ still exists in some places in my country. However, as the years go by, women in Mexico are getting the freedom to work and do more things on their own without any help.”

Adela Saraci, 20, Albania

“There is no difference in the way women are treated in the U.S. or in Albania. They respect women here a lot. The only difference I have noticed is women in the U.S. are more encouraged to have successful careers than in Albania.

I was surprised by the number of women driving cars. In the U.S., the number of women and the number of men driving cars are almost equal. In Albania, the majority of drivers are men.”

Linh Nguyen, 21, Vietnam

“In Vietnam, the patriarchal system is slowly being removed, and women are receiving a lot of equal treatment. I guess it’s like that in many Asian countries now. Even though we’re not as developed as South Korea, Japan, Singapore or Hong Kong, Vietnamese women are getting much better treatments than maybe a decade ago.

People in less well-off families or with close-minded parents still have to live with many unreasonable expectations and pressures of what they must do as females. Women in Vietnam are also much more frequently judged for what they do, wear, or say by the general public.

Going to an international school and being exposed to Western ideas since a fairly young age, I recognize gender inequality more easily. Having lived in the U.S. for three years now, I do think women here are more free and encouraged to do more than women in Vietnam.”

Sarah T., 20, Indonesia

“I do not really feel like it is necessarily different from the U.S. The difference is probably in the way we perceive this treatment. While it might be inequality in the U.S., here it might be brushed off as the cultural norm.

I definitely expected the people here to be more outspoken and willing to talk about important issues. When I moved to the U.S., it was still surprising for me how passionate and involved many women are about addressing and eliminating gender-based inequality.”

Tam Do, 20, Vietnam

“Women from Vietnam are still more or less under many different sexist prejudices as compared to women in the States. Society has high expectations of them: taking care of the family, getting married, having kids, following codes of conduct that have been passed down for thousands of years, while at the same time, they are still expected to have a successful career and earn money.

“I was surprised by how liberal women here are about sex, especially sex before marriage.”

Women around the globe experience gender inequality in different ways. It’s important for women all over the world to work together to make every nation a place where women are seen as equals. 

University of Wisconsin