Women more worried than men about environment, study finds

The Gösgen-Däniken nuclear plant in canton Solothurn. © Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

Swiss people reckon the quality of the environment both at home and abroad is getting progressively worse, a national survey has found. But women are more concerned about it than men.

This content was published on July 7, 2020 - 16:31
Keystone-SDA/dos

The proportion of the population who think the quality of the environment within Switzerland is ‘good’ or ‘very good’ fell by six percentage points since 2015, the Federal Statistical Office reported on Tuesday. At 89%, however, the figure remains high.

Meanwhile, perceptions of what’s going on beyond the borders are gloomier, and getting more so: just 13% of those surveyed said environmental quality in the world was good, as opposed to 20% in 2015, and 23% in 2011.

As for discrepancy between the sexes, both women and men agreed about these two perceptions. However, when it came to specific concerns, some differences appeared.

For example, three out of 10 women said that environmental quality was a very significant factor in their quality of life; two out of 10 men said the same. Similarly, while 65% of women reckoned that pollution was a big problem, 56% of men thought the same.

Women were also much more fearful of the impact of technologies on the environment: 81% of them said nuclear power plants were very or somewhat dangerous, compared to 67% of men. The difference when it came to mobile telephone masts was 69% to 52%, respectively.

As a result, women were also marginally more inclined to take environmental concerns into account on a daily basis. Some 76% (as opposed to 69% of men) said that the energy rating of small electrical appliances was a factor in choosing which one to buy. Women were also more likely to choose organic foods when shopping (46% and 40%).

One thing very much shared across all Swiss people, however, is the close link with the environment: 78% of respondents say they escaped into nature at least once every week.

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