Women, Business and the Law 2010 report
BackgroundWomen, Business and the Law measures, in an objective fashion, legal differentiations on the basis of gender in 128 economies around the world. It is the first report that measures the gender gap in policy variables using quantitative and objective data. It examines the laws, regulations and institutions that differentiate between women and men in ways that affect women’s incentives or capacity to work or to set up and run a business. The six topics covered are:
1. Accessing institutions - explores women’s legal ability to interact with public authorities and the private sector in the same ways as men.
2. Using property - analyzes women’s ability to access and use property based on their ability to own, manage, control, and inherit it.
3. Getting a job - assesses restrictions on women’s work such as prohibitions on working at night or in certain industries. This indicator also covers laws on maternity and paternity protection and retirement ages.
4. Dealing with taxes - examines personal income tax liabilities, taking into account the tax credits and deductions available to women and men.
5. Building credit - identifies minimum loan thresholds in private credit bureaus and public credit registries and tracks credit bureaus and registries that collect information from microfinance institutions.
6. Going to court - considers the ease and affordability of access to justice by examining small claims courts.
The report finds that every region contains with unequal rules for men and women, with the extent of inequality varying by region. Although income level is correlated with gender equality under the law, unequal legal provisions exist in both developed and developing economies.
Women, Business and the Law is intended to further country level or cross-country research efforts on linkages between legal differentiations and outcomes for women. Using these data, policymakers can identify gender differentiated laws in their countries and particular areas where gender inequality may be especially pronounced. By focusing on the law, which is tangible and concrete, the report aims to provide policymakers with a starting point for dialogue and action. In fact, several countries are already changing their legislation in this area.
- Diala Makdissi Afram is a gender analyst in Enterprise Surveys. Ms. Makdissi Afram holds a Master of Laws degree with a concentration in international law and human rights. She previously practiced law in Sweden.
- Sarah Iqbal is a gender analyst in Enterprise Surveys. She previously practiced law in California and is a member of the California Bar. Ms. Iqbal holds a JD from UC Hastings with a concentration in international law, an MA in international relations with a concentration in economics from Johns Hopkins (SAIS), and a BA from UC Berkeley.
- Rita Ramalho is the Program Manager for Enterprise Surveys. She previously worked on the Doing Business report. Ms. Ramalho holds a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research has focused on analyzing how different types of regulations can affect economic outcomes, with a recent focus on women’s economic outcomes.
- Jennifer Yip is a gender analyst in Enterprise Surveys. She previously worked for the Economic Reform and Development team in The Asia Foundation’s office in Cambodia. Ms. Yip holds a M.A. in Politics from Princeton University and a B.A. from Stanford University. Her background is in feminist political theory and comparative politics.
List of countries
All 128 countries will be made available here.
- Methodology (2010 report)
- Women, Business and the Law 2012 report
- 2012 report methodology
- Women, Business and the Law website
The following video was done by Datapult, based on the indicator "Do men and women have equal rights under the law?" from the Women, Business and the Law 2010 report: