Women, business and the Law 2016: Getting to equal (Key findings)

Wold Bank Group

The document highlights the main findings of the Women, business and the Law 2016: Getting to equal report, which analyses a total of 173 economies as to how legal barriers affect women’s ability and desire to access the world of work or become entrepreneurs.

The results of the latest report, which has been published every two years since 2009, conclude that:

  • Legal differences are latent in the vast majority of countries: in 155 of the 173 economies researched, there is at least one law that prevents women from having economic opportunities;
  • In 46 of them, there are no laws to protect women from gender violence;
  • Furthermore, in 18 economies there are still laws that allow husbands to stop their wives from working;
  • Greater legal inequality is the reason why fewer girls go on to secondary education, fewer women work or start a business, and why there is a greater wage gap.

Sarah Iqbal, lead author of the report, commented on the results: “Although laws cannot guarantee equal treatment for women, they are the first steps in creating a level playing field in which all women are given the opportunity to flourish.”