10 Reasons Why Women Are Happier Being Female Than 70 Years Ago

From liberal views on sex to increased power to make change, we explore the multiple reasons why we should be happy to be women in 2016


Are you happy?

Well, according to a new poll by the BBC, women in 2016 are far happier with being female than they were 70 years ago.

To mark the 70th anniversary of Radio 4's Woman's Hour, a poll surveying 1,000 women found nearly nine in 10 women would rather be female than male in 2016, compared to almost six in 10 in 1947.


Meanwhile, 42 per cent of women nowadays believe women and men give up the same amount of freedom when they marry, compared to just 25 per cent in a 1951 Gallup survey.

Of course, we still have a long way to go until women have the same rights as men around the world.

From closing the gender pay gap and improving gay marriage rights to abolishing abortion bans and customs that forbid women from dressing as they please in public, studying and working, it's clear the road to equality is a long, arduous path society needs to trudge.


But despite the on-going need for change, there's still a lot to be grateful for as women in the UK 2016:

1. We can choose if and when we want a baby

Sixty years ago, the average woman had 2.2 children and didn't work.

Thanks to the introduction of the contraceptive pill in 1961 (first to married women and then to singletons in 1967), women were finally able to take control of their sexual liberation.

Nowadays, thanks to the pill, the coil, condoms and other contraceptive devices, we have the right to decide our reproductive habits so that we can decide to have a family on our own terms.

2. Female politicians are the norm

Seventy years ago, the thought of a woman in a position of power – let alone with political authority – would have been unheard of.


But thanks to women such as Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton, Aung San Suu Kyi and Theresa May (yes, love or loathe her), female world leaders are no longer a far-off dream.

As Beyoncé says: 'Who run the world?' Well, the girls are well on their way!

3. Sex is no longer taboo

Sex before marriage, casual sex and sex toys were unthinkable topics of discussion in our grandparents' era.

Fast forward to the 21st century, programmes such as Girls, Fleabag and Sex and the City have opened up a platform for discussion where women no longer feel ashamed to talk openly about their sex lives.

Heck, Emma Watson earlier this year announced she was a subscriber to OMGyes (a website that provides tutorials on masturbation for women). Talk about respect.


4. We're free to dress how we want

Lipstick, curlers, dresses, heels and tights were the norm of Fifties attire.

Nowadays, women's wardrobes in the UK are reflective of our increasingly balanced and gender fluid society. Baggy trousers, pumps, blazers skinny jeans, shorts – anything men can wear, we can too – and vice versa.

Your gender no longer dictates what you wear. Result.

5. There's no expectation to marry young

In 1952, 75 per cent of women were married, with the average age for marriage 21 years old. But now, just over half the population are married, with women more likely to say 'I do' in their mid-thirties.



  1. Sex before marriage doesn't mean you'll burn in hell.
  2. Some view the idea of marriage as outdated.
  3. With more women going on to high education, marriage is no longer the first sign of adulthood.
  4. Millenials are prioritising their careers, paying off debts and saving up for their first home rather than forking out on getting hitched.
  5. Thanks to improved reproductive rights, marrying due to pregnancy is less common.
  6. Marriage often represents a patriarchal idea of a woman belonging to a man.

6. We don't pay VAT on sanitary products anymore

Before David Cameron left No. 10, he at least managed to abolish the 5 per cent VAT 'tampon tax' levied on sanitary products.


Okay, so it's not the crux of female happiness but with an average saving of £114 a year means we can now splurge on a shopping trip in Topshop and Zara instead of on a box of Tampax.

7. We can date whoever, wherever and wherever we fancy

Thanks to dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and Happn, women can choose to flirt, date or hook with with as many men and women as they choose, without social stereotypes and sideways glances from onlookers or friends.

'Yeah, I'm messaging four guys, one girl and have two dates tonight with two separate men. And what?'

8. There's more of us at university

Whether you went to university or not, you can at least champion the fact that 27,400 more young women than men won places at university this year, according to UCAS.


Basically, the more women we have at the forefront of education, the quicker it'll take to takeover the world, right?

9. Better badass female role models

Nicola Sturgeon. Laura Trott. Beyoncé. Tina Fey. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Amal Clooey. Lena Dunham. Serena Williams. Mindy Kaling. JK Rowling. Sheryl Sandberg – to name but a few.

Respectable women in high-profile positions of power who are championing female success, equality and share feminist viewpoints are now prominent voices in society.

10. Increased power to change

You only have to look at last week's protest in Poland where women ditched work to strike against a proposed abortion ban and subsequently led parliament reconsidering the bill to show that women have significant power to make a difference in society.

Other inspiring movements include Caroline Criado-Perez's successful social media campaign to get women on British banknotes and the petition regarding women being required to wear high heels which went onto debate in Parliament.

Who would want to be a man when you can be a woman?

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