To link to this article, copy this persistent link:
(Oct 17, 2013) A report issued by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on September 24, 2013, found that in most of the countries of the world there are still legal barriers that block women's economic success. (Sung Un Kim, Women Still Subject to Legal Inequalities: Report, PAPER CHASE NEWSBURST (Sept. 25, 2013).) The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is designed to help the growth of the private sector in developing countries. (About IFC, IFC website (last visited Sept. 30, 2013).)The report, which is based on a survey of 143 economies, states that in about 90% of them there was at least one legal disparity in the treatment of women. Of those economies studied, Saudi Arabia had the most legal barriers, with over 25 in place. These differences varied from country to country, but included barriers to travel, conclusion of contracts, financial management, and employment. According to Jim Yong Kim, the President of the World Bank Group, equal opportunity is "smart economic policy" and women can contribute to a "more cohesive society and a more resilient economy." (Sung Un Kim, supra.) The countries found to have no significant gender difference in their laws that would impact participation in the economy are: Armenia, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kosovo, Mexico, Namibia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Puerto Rico (the U.S.), the Slovak Republic, South Africa, and Spain. (WOMEN, BUSINESS AND THE LAW 2014: REMOVING RESTRICTIONS TO ENHANCE GENDER EQUALITY, KEY FINDINGS [hereinafter KEY FINDINGS], World Bank website (2013).)Aspects of Remaining Legal DifferencesThe report noted that in 28 economies there are ten or more legal differences, based on gender, related to economic opportunity; 25 of these economies are in the Middle East or Africa. World-wide the study found 21 kinds of legal differences for unmarried women and 26 for married women. Among these legal blocks is the fact that in 15 countries, husbands who object to their wives taking a job can prevent them from doing so. Restrictions on the types of work women can perform are more commonly foundin 79 economies, largely in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In addition, in places in which legally mandated benefits for maternity and parental leave are high, sometimes the rate of participation in the workforce by women is lower. (
|Author:||Constance Johnson More by this author|
|Topic:||Discrimination More on this topic|
|Families More on this topic|
|Jurisdiction:||World Bank More about this jurisdiction|
Search Legal News
Find legal news by topic, country, keyword, date, or author.
Global Legal Monitor RSS
Get the Global Legal Monitor delivered to your inbox. Sign up for RSS service.
The Global Legal Monitor is an online publication from the Law Library of Congress covering legal news and developments worldwide. It is updated frequently and draws on information from the Global Legal Information Network, official national legal publications, and reliable press sources. You can find previous news by searching the GLM.
Last updated: 10/17/2013