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Methodology: Survey on Gender Equality at Home

This survey is conducted on the Facebook platform bi-annually and implemented in 208 countries and islands in 80 languages. Respondents are offered the option to take the survey in a language that they typically use to navigate Facebook, or a secondary language that they may speak and is supported by the platform.

Survey Questions

The survey includes a total of 75 questions, divided into the following sections:

  1. Basic demographics and gender norms
  2. Decision making and resource allocation across household members
  3. Unpaid caregiving
  4. Additional household demographics and COVID-19 impact
  5. Optional questions for special groups (e.g. students, business owners, the employed, and the unemployed)

Questions were developed collaboratively by a team of economists and gender experts from the World Bank, UN Women, Equal Measures 2030, and Ladysmith. Some of the questions have been borrowed from other surveys that employ alternative modes of administration (e.g., face-to-face, telephone surveys, etc.); this allows for comparability and identification of potential gaps and biases inherent to Facebook and other online survey platforms. As such, the survey also generates methodological insights that are useful to researchers undertaking alternative modes of data collection during the COVID-19 era.

In order to avoid “survey fatigue,” wherein respondents begin to disengage from the survey content and responses become less reliable, each respondent was only asked to answer a subset of questions. Specifically, each respondent saw a maximum of 30 questions, comprising demographics (asked of all respondents) and a set of additional questions randomly and purposely allocated to them.

Respondent Sampling

Respondents were sampled across seven regions:

  • East Asia and Pacific; Europe and Central Asia
  • Latin America and Caribbean
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • North America
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • South Asia.

For the purposes of this report, responses have been aggregated up to the regional level; these regional estimates form the basis of this report and its associated products (Regional Briefs). In order to ensure respondent confidentiality, these estimates are based on responses where a sufficient number of people responded to each question and thus where confidentiality can be assured. This results in a sample of 461,748 respondents.

The sampling frame for this survey is the global database of Facebook users who were active on the platform at least once over the past 28 days, which offers a number of advantages:

  • It allows for the design, implementation, and launch of a survey in a timely manner.
  • Large sample sizes allow for more questions to be asked through random assignment of modules, avoiding respondent fatigue.
  • Samples may be drawn from diverse segments of the online population.
  • Knowledge of the overall sampling frame allowed for more rigorous probabilistic sampling techniques and non-response adjustments than is typical for online and phone surveys.

Survey Limitations

  • The survey only captures respondents who: (1) have access to the Internet (2) are Facebook users (3) opt to take this survey through the Facebook platform.
  • Knowledge of the overall demographics of the online population in each region allows for calibration such that estimates are representative at this level. However, this means the results only tell us something about the online population in each region, not the overall population. As such, the survey cannot generate global estimates or meaningful comparisons across countries and regions, given the heterogeneity in internet connectivity across countries.
  • Estimates have only been generated for respondents who gave their gender as male or female. The survey included an “other” option but very few respondents selected it, making it impossible to generate meaningful estimates for non-binary populations.
  • It is important to note that the survey was not designed to paint a comprehensive picture of household dynamics but rather to shed light on respondents’ reported experiences and roles within households.

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