14 Mar 2019

Women only have three quarters of the legal rights that men have

The World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law 2019 report found that on average, globally, women only receive three quarters of the legal rights that men have.

Victoria Wystepek
Victoria Wystepek NewsMavens, Europe
Women only have three quarters of the legal rights that men have - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

Only six countries in the world -- all in Europe -- were deemed to have equal rights for men and women. The study measured outcomes relevant to women’s economic empowerment, which have an effect on the global economy. Legal restrictions pertaining to employment based on factors such as owning property or taking maternity leave, shape women’s decisions to enter the labor force, which in turn affects global prosperity. According to a 2015 report by the McKinsey Global Institute, closing the gender gap in the workforce could increase global GDP by $28 trillion dollars. World Bank Group Interim President Kristalina Georgieva echoed this finding,

“If women have equal opportunities to reach their full potential, the world would not only be fairer, it would be more prosperous as well. Gender equality is a critical component of economic growth.” 

The report found that the most improved reformers instituted laws against sexual harassment, nondiscrimination laws regarding access to credit, and removing restrictions based on the types of jobs that women can have. 

The report recommends advocacy by women’s groups paired with public interest litigation as the most effective ways to trigger reforms to benefit gender equality.

Details from the story:

  • The six European countries that grant equal rights to men and women are Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Sweden.
  • The factors measured were based on: legal constraints on the freedom of movement, laws affecting women’s decisions to start a job, the gender wage gap, legal constraints on marriage, laws affecting women’s employment after having children, constraints on women starting/running a business, property and inheritance law, and laws affecting the size of a woman’s pension.
WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
SUPPORTED BY:

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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