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2 Out of 3 Russians Opposed to Female President – Poll

The speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, is one of the few women in power in the country.

Two-thirds of Russians would not be happy to have a woman as president, the state-funded VTsIOM polling agency said Friday ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8.

Some 68% of people surveyed said they opposed a female president, up from 61% in an identical VTsIOM’s poll in 2016. The pollster noted that both male and female respondents shared opposition to a female president.

“Russian society remains conservative and state policy promoting traditional values plays an important role here,” VTsIOM said.

“One can predict that the coming of a woman as the head of state won’t be realistic until 2048,” the state pollster said.

Meanwhile, the share of VTsIOM’s respondents who support a female president in Russia fell to 21% this year from 32% five years ago.

“There’s an image created in the information field that makes traditional values an integral part of the Russians’ identity as a political nation that separates them from Westerners,” VTsIOM said.

The respondents expressed the most opposition (83%) to women as defense ministers, police chiefs and prosecutors. More Russians said they would like to see women as ministers of healthcare or education (89%), party leaders (66%) or prime ministers (55%).

Russian respondents aged 18-24, as well as Moscow- and St. Petersburg-based respondents of all ages, are the most favorably disposed toward a female president.

Most of those who oppose a female president are respondents in the higher income bracket, VTsIOM said.

The polling agency surveyed 1,600 Russian respondents on March 1.

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