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BBC Asks Women If They're "Happy" Being A Woman

A lot has changed for women in Britain in 70 years – thank you, feminism – and a new poll highlights just how much better our lives are now than they were for our foremothers.

Nearly nine out of 10 women (86%) today would rather be a woman than a man, according to a poll by BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour, a huge increase from just over half of women who said the same in 1947, the BBC reported.

Many women surveyed (42%) said they believe men and women give up equal amounts of freedom when they get married today. Just a quarter of men and women said the same in a 1951 survey.

For the recent poll, researchers asked 1,004 women from all age ranges about different aspects of their lives and their attitudes: from sex, marriage and family to money, work and appearance.

The research also suggested women these days are happier with their own romantic choices than they once were.

Nearly nine out of 10 (87%) said they would marry the same person if they had their time again, compared with 77% of men and women who said the same in a 1949 Gallup poll, reported the BBC.

Women's relationship to employment is also unrecognisable to what it was in the mid twentieth century. Roughly twice the proportion of women are employed today than they were 65 years ago – 60% compared with 31% in 1951.

Most women aged between 18 and 64 said the main reason they worked was for self respect, then money and colleagues and the work environment. By contrast, women over 65 said money was most important.

However, some of the findings did highlight the obvious, sad reality – that not everything is rosy for women these days.

Younger women (18-to-24 year olds) said their appearance mattered a lot to them. Nearly four in 10 (37%) said they'd least like to be associated with the word "fat", even less than "stupid" and "boring".

Younger women were also most likely to have had cosmetic surgery (10%) and nearly half would consider it in the future (46%).

Only a modest proportion of women today said they were completely happy with their sex lives. Less than a quarter (24%) of 25-to-34 year olds described themselves "extremely satisfied" in the bedroom, as did 16% of 55-to-64 year olds.

While it's useful to remind ourselves and celebrate how far women have come in the last century or so, polls like this shouldn't make us complacent.