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Women, Business and the Law is a World Bank Group project that compares legal environments on the basis of gender in 128 different economies with a focus on laws that pertain to women’s economic freedom. [1] Women, Business and the Law covers six topical areas: accessing institutions, using property, getting a job, dealing with taxes, building credit, and going to court.[2] Currently, only 20 of the 128 countries surveyed give men and women the same legal rights.[3]

Content[edit]

Between 2007 and 2009, the project collected data in the subject economies about laws that influenced women in the business world. The project focused on the ability of women to access government and public institutions, manage property, obtain jobs, build credit, and access courts, as well as evaluating the impact of tax laws on women. The project posits that these six areas "have either a direct or indirect impact on the ability of women to get jobs or engage in business activities and become entrepreneurs”.[4]

Methodology[edit]

Similar to Doing Business, Women, Business and the Law seeks to measure objective differences in legal systems that create obstacles for women’s employment and economic freedom. The six broad indicators were developed by examining the laws and regulations that had the greatest impact on women’s business rights, directly or indirectly.[5] Family law, in particular, can impact women’s legal capacity, property rights, and institutional access. The WBL indicators examine family codes, civil codes, and marriage and family law to examine in greater detail how family law may affect women’s economic opportunities.

The data was produced through an examination of the relevant legal sources, such as constitutions and legislative codes, and data from Doing Business were also used. The data and report is updated every two years. Because of the report’s focus on written legislation, Women Business and the Law does not claim that its analysis of the formal legal environment necessarily reflects the “on the ground” realities of gender rights in different countries.[6]

Additionally, Women, Business and the Law does not rank countries, acknowledging that each country’s legislation has a unique context of cultural norms and values. Instead, the report only seeks to provide data and information to “inform discussions about women’s economic rights” and identify potential obstacles to women’s economic freedom.[7]

Gender Law Library[edit]

The Gender Law Library is a World Bank catalogue of laws, regulations and provisions that pertain to women’s economic freedom in 183 countries. [8] The database is intended to improve comparisons of and research on legal environments in different countries.[9] Because many of the countries with legal constraints on women also have constitutions guaranteeing equal rights, many of these laws may be unconstitutional.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ World Bank Study Shows business laws in Most Countries Hold Women Back. AOL News. http://www.aolnews.com/2010/03/17/its-a-mans-world-business-study-finds/
  2. ^ World Bank: "Women, Business, and Law", World Bank Group, 2011, U.S.A.
  3. ^ Laws Restrict Women in business Worldwide. Business Day. http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=104124
  4. ^ World Bank: "Women, Business, and Law", World Bank Group, 2011, U.S.A.
  5. ^ ibid.
  6. ^ ibid.
  7. ^ ibid.
  8. ^ ibid.
  9. ^ ibid.
  10. ^ World Bank Study Shows business laws in Most Countries Hold Women Back. AOL News. http://www.aolnews.com/2010/03/17/its-a-mans-world-business-study-finds/

External Links[edit]