Decline in women rights threaten global economic growth – World Bank
Equal treatment of women in countries across the world has slumped to a 20-year low, constituting a potential impediment to economic growth.
A new World Bank report said in 2022, the global average score on the institution’s Women, Business and the Law index rose just half a point to 77.1.
This indicates women enjoy 77 percent of the legal rights that men do, while in many countries, a woman entering the workforce will retire before gaining the same rights as men.
World Bank Chief Economist, Indermit Gill said at a time when global economic growth is slowing, countries need to mobilize their capacity to confront “the confluence of crises”.
The Senior Vice President for Development Economics stressed that governments cannot afford to sideline as much as half of their population.
“Denying equal rights to women across much of the world is not just unfair to women; it is a barrier to countries’ ability to promote green, resilient, and inclusive development,” Gill noted.
Women, Business and the Law 2023 assesses 190 countries’ laws and regulations regarding workplace, pay, marriage, parenthood, entrepreneurship, assets, pensions, and economic participation,
Currently, just 14 countries, all high-income economies, have laws that give women the same rights as men, the report highlighted.
Also, nearly 2.4 billion women of working age do not have equal rights though studies estimate global economic gains of $5-6 trillion if women started new businesses at part with men.
The report added that Sub-Saharan Africa made significant progress in 2022, accounting for over half of all reforms worldwide.
The Republic of Benin, the Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Malawi, Senegal, and Uganda were recognised for enacting “18 positive legal changes”.