Gender equality is a critical component of economic growth. Women are half of the world’s population and we have our role to play in creating a more prosperous world. But we won’t succeed in playing it if the laws are holding us back. To develop a better understanding of how women’s employment and entrepreneurship are affected by legal discrimination, Women, Business and the Law 2019: A Decade of Reform examines ten years of data through an index structured around the economic decisions women make as they go through their working lives. From a 25-year-old getting her first job or a mother balancing work with caring for her children, to a woman on the brink of retirement, the index explores how the economic decisions women make are affected by the law.
The data show there has been great progress towards legal gender equality over the past decade. In 131 economies there have been 274 reforms to laws and regulations, leading to an increase in gender equality. This includes the 35 economies that implemented laws on workplace sexual harassment, protecting nearly two billion more women than a decade ago. But the average global score is 74.71, indicating that a typical economy only gives women three-quarters the rights of men in the measured areas.