Newsroom / CNA
The issues of violence against women is the main concern to women across the divide in Cyprus, according to a survey.
The survey aimed at examining the position of women, their perceptions, aspirations and experiences across the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities with respect to personal, professional and political issues.
Some 350 Greek Cypriot women and 355 Turkish Cypriot women aged 18 and above were asked to answer a short questionnaire in November 2017.
According to the findings, personal financial independence and access to health care are also issues of concern for women in both communities.
Equal access to training opportunities and work-life balance are also important areas of concern, somewhat more so among Greek Cypriot than Turkish Cypriot women.
The overwhelming majority of women from both communities claim to be satisfied with their lives in general, with high satisfaction levels in respect to having the freedom to do what they choose with their life, their professional life and their standard of living.
The overwhelming majority of women from both communities claim to be satisfied with their lives in general
This is further reflected in a perception that the position of women in society is getting better (more than 3 in 4 Greek Cypriot women and approximately 2 in 3 Turkish Cypriot women believe so).
A notable difference is observed with respect to work-life balance and the acknowledgement of skills, capabilities and qualifications, to which Greek Cypriot women are significantly more satisfied than their Turkish Cypriot counterparts.
There is clearly a gap with respect to the degree to which women feel that they are treated as equals, with less than 3 in 5 Greek Cypriot women and just around 2 in 5 Turkish Cypriot women claiming that they are treated equally with men.
In turn, this is reflected in relatively low satisfaction levels with respect to the opportunities offered to women across a range of areas.
Few are satisfied with opportunities related to participation in politics, holding managerial positions or being represented in professional bodies, particularly among the Greek Cypriot women.
Moreover, women from both communities, report a range of negative experiences, particularly in relation to having had to sacrifice a personal interest or hobby on account of lack of personal time.
For Greek Cypriot women this appears to be related partly to not having anywhere to leave their children, while for Turkish Cypriot women the additional element of lack of encouragement from another family member may also play a role.
The issue of lack of personal financial independence is also elevated, with more than 2 in 5 Greek Cypriot women and nearly 3 in 5 Turkish Cypriot women claiming that they have had to ask for money form another family member in order to cover personal expenses.
Turkish Cypriot women have a significantly higher belief that some work types should be done only by women and others only by men and that it is fair for women to spend more time at home and men to bring home most of the income.
Similarly, Turkish Cypriots are more inclined to believe that women are equally rewarded at work and are more honest than men.
On the contrary, Greek Cypriots clearly perceive that they are in a better position in society as compared to the situation of Turkish Cypriot women.
The Cyprus problem and how it evolves ranks lowest in terms of important issues of concern for women of both communities.