What do women want?

Date of publication: June 15, 1993


The countries of Central Eastern Europe are evolving very fast: how different are they from each other and from the West? Are differences culturally rooted, or driven by specific national circumstances? This paper discusses some data from a recent quantitative survey on beliefs, attitudes and values which throw some light on these issues. The survey, conducted under the auspices of the EEC, used a widespread network of university members set up by Dr. Miliar in 1990- 92 and takes further a pilot-study published in 1991. It covered approximately 500 women aged 18 - 50 in seven CEE markets plus the former East and West Germanies separately and the UK. The questioning, covering many aspects of life today, was identical everywhere. The results shown here demonstrate that women in the CEE countries are not, in general, as optimistic as those surveyed in the West, and there seems to be a significant age divide between the young, who are almost as hopeful as those in the West, and the less young, who are more pessimistic. Nevertheless, ail countries show increased optimism for the future, albeit at different levels. Attitudes to branding, advertising and other aspects of commercial life are analysed into five main factors across all countries, and the reasons for the differences between the countries are explored. The conclusion is drawn that 'Westernisation' is not a straightforward process; and it would be wrong to infer that 'Western' attitudes will prevail. Above all, each CEE country is different and needs careful assessment for marketing and communication decisions.

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