Today, women have just three-quarters of the legal rights of men. In 1970, it was less than half. The Women, Business and the Law 2020 report presented results from our recent effort to document how laws have changed since 1970. This exceptional dataset has already facilitated ground-breaking research that shows that a country’s performance on the Women, Business and the Law index is associated with more women in the labor force, a smaller wage gap between men and women, and greater investments in health and education. We hope that sharing the data and reform descriptions on our website will lead to more evidence that will inspire policymakers to change their laws so that more women can contribute to economic growth and development.
Women, Business and the Law measures global progress toward gender equality in the law. Topic notes and related research provide further analysis of the data. To gain new insight into how women’s employment and entrepreneurship choices are affected by legal gender discrimination, this study examines ten years of Women, Business and the Law data through an index structured around economic decisions women make as they go through different stages of their working lives.
WASHINGTON, January 30, 2017 – A new World Bank policy report urges developing countries and international development agencies to rethink their approach to governance, as a key to overcoming challenges related to security, growth, and equity.
The 2017 World Development Report: Governance and the Law explores how unequal distribution of power in a society interferes with policies’ effectiveness. Power asymmetries help explain, for example, why model anti-corruption laws and agencies often fail to curb corruption, why decentralization does not always improve municipal services; or why well-crafted fiscal policies may not reduce volatility and generate long-term savings.