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Poll: Majority of women in US have experienced gender-based discrimination

During his victory speech on April 26, Donald Trump said that the only thing Hillary Clinton has going for her is the “woman’s card” and that women don’t actually like the female candidate. Clinton’s campaign responded by fundraising with an actual “woman’s card” for supporters to display proudly after the former secretary of state rebutted Trump’s remarks by saying that “if fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the ‘woman card,’ then deal me in.”

The issue of unfair treatment of women and gender-based discrimination has been front and center in the 2016 presidential campaign; however, this is an issue that reaches beyond politics. Over the past two weeks, the NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll has included numerous survey questions that tap into different aspects of gender and the treatment of women in society.

The results show that a majority, 51 percent, of women have personally experienced discrimination based on their gender, and 35 percent said they have not experienced gender-based discrimination. A majority of women, 51 percent, also said society has not yet reached the point where women and men have equal opportunities for achievement. Only 36 percent of women said that women and men have equal opportunities, according to the NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll conducted April 11 through April 24, 2016 among 12,894 adults aged 18 and over.

The data also show some interesting splits when examined in detail by partisanship. The percentage of Democratic women who said they’ve experienced discrimination on the basis of their race was 23 points higher than the percentage of Republican women who said so – 62 percent to 39 percent. Among Independent women, 46 percent said they’ve personally experienced gender-based discrimination. 

Just under half, 49 percent, of Republican women said society has reached the point where women and men have equal opportunities for achievement. Among Independent women, 36 percent said women and men have equal opportunities. In contrast, a little over a quarter, 27 percent, of Democratic women agreed that society allows for equal opportunity for both genders. These findings show that Republican and Democratic women have starkly different experiences and perspectives on where society stands on the matter of gender equality.   

The NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll was conducted online from April 11, 2016 through April 24, 2016 among a national sample of 12,894 adults aged 18 and over. Respondents for this survey were selected from the nearly three million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Results have an error estimate of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points. For full results and methodology for this poll, please click here.