They said that frequent and erratic interruptions to baby care could affect brain development.

Johannesburg -

There has been a decline in the proportion of women believing that a woman's place is not just at home.

A new survey showed that 62 percent of women agreed they did not belong at home. In 2009, this was 70 percent.

Only 18 percent said they believed women should not be working and 22 percent of men agreed with them. Almost 20 percent of women were undecided on the matter.

The survey was conducted by independent research company Ipsos among 3565 South Africans older than 15.

“Three in every 10 South African women (30 percent) indicated satisfaction with their own lives,” Ipsos said in a statement.

“(This has) improved compared to 26 percent who were of this opinion in 2009.”

More women were also optimistic about their children's future.

At least 54 percent of them said their children and the children of their family or friends had a bright future.

At least 65 percent of them disagreed with the statement that boys had a stronger right to education than girls.

Less than a third of women thought their families' lives would be better by next year.

“South Africans, especially women, view the future with a measure of apprehension and these scores are fairly low,” the company said.

“The slow economic growth, lingering unemployment and the uncertainty with regards to the ruling party and the future of the leadership of the ANC all contribute.”

The survey revealed that 30 percent of men believed that since jobs were scarce, they should have more rights to jobs than women. At least 21 percent of woman concurred.

Only 31 percent of women in the country had full-time or part-time employment, while at least 46 percent of men were employed.

“Unemployment is a major issue in our country, but it seems to affect women even harder than men,” Ipsos said.

Research for the survey was conducted between April and May this year. - Sapa