More Guangdong women appear to be opting for a traditional lifestyle as housewives, a survey released ahead of International Women's Day yesterday has revealed. This is despite a decade of reforms in an area spearheading China's economic progress. The study, jointly sponsored by the Guangdong Women's Federation and Guangdong Statistics Bureau, took more than a year and covered more than 2,000 families in 16 cities, 44 counties and 300 villages randomly selected in Guangdong province. According to the survey, women appeared to be more confident and happier with themselves and their lives and enjoyed a fairer status in society. But the survey also found what organisers classed as 'confusing and disturbing' results. Only 67 per cent of women had full-time jobs - 9.6 percentage points lower than in 1990 when a similar survey was conducted. The difference in the employment rate between men and women had grown by 16 percentage points. And 14.5 per cent more women in Guangdong believed that mainland men were superior to women, compared to 12 years ago. The findings suggest women in Guangdong are perhaps playing a more traditional role than previously, according to some analysts. Seventy-five per cent of women answered yes to the question 'if you married a rich man, would you still work?' - 13 percentage points lower than the national average. Significantly, more women in Guangdong agreed with the view that a man's duty was to be successful in society, while a woman's job was to raise a family. Middle-aged women appeared to be even more traditional than the older generation, the survey found. More than 30 per cent of those aged between 36 and 45 believed women should avoid being better than men at work, while only 23 per cent of the women older than 56 thought the same. The survey was the second time the social and economic status of Guangdong women had been researched, Guangdong's official news Web site Southcn.com reported. The results were part of a national survey designed and initiated by the All China Women Federation and China Statistics Bureau.