Kenya: nearly 2.4 billion women in the world do not have the same economic rights as men
Nairobi — About 2.4 billion women of working age do not enjoy the same economic opportunities as men, according to the World Bank’s 2022 report on women, business and the law.
According to the report, in 86 countries women face some form of employment restriction and 95 countries do not guarantee equal pay for equal work.
In addition, 178 countries maintain legal barriers that prevent women’s full economic participation.
“Although progress has been made, the gap between the expected lifetime earnings of men and women worldwide is $172 trillion, nearly twice the world’s annual GDP,” said Mari Pangestu, Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships at the World Bank.
“As we move towards green, resilient and inclusive development, governments must accelerate the pace of legal reforms so that women can realize their full potential and benefit fully and equitably.”
Globally, women still have only three quarters of the legal rights given to men – an overall score of 76.5 out of a possible 100, indicating full legal parity.
However, despite the disproportionate effect on women’s lives and livelihoods of the global pandemic, 23 countries reformed their laws in 2021 to take much-needed steps to advance women’s economic inclusion, according to the report.
The Middle East and North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa regions showed the largest improvements in the WBL Index in 2021, although they continue to lag behind other other parts of the world as a whole.
Gabon is distinguished by a profound reform of its civil code and the promulgation of a law on the elimination of violence against women.
Gabon’s score fell from 57.5 in 2020 to 82.5 in 2021.
Globally, the greatest number of reforms were made in the Parenting, Compensation and Workplace indicators.
Many reforms have focused on protecting against sexual harassment in employment, prohibiting gender discrimination, increasing paid leave for new parents, and removing employment restrictions for women. .
The Pay and Parenthood metrics have the lowest average scores on the index, but they have risen over the past year, rising 0.9 and 0.7 points respectively, with average scores of 68.7 and 55 ,6.
Gains in the parenthood indicator mainly relate to paternity leave and shared parental leave, but the low score highlights the need to accelerate reforms in this area.
“Women cannot achieve equality in the workplace if they are on an unequal footing at home,” said Carmen Reinhart, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank Group.
“It means leveling the playing field and ensuring that having children does not mean that women are excluded from fully participating in the economy and realizing their hopes and ambitions.”
The report notes that 118 economies around the world guarantee 14 weeks of paid leave for mothers.
More than half (114) of the economies measured require paid leave for fathers, but the median is just one week.