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Methodology

Women, Business and the Law examines laws and regulations that affect women’s ability to be entrepreneurs and employees. Legislation can affect women’s economic potential directly and indirectly. Thus, the indicators covered in the report capture both laws that directly differentiate between men and women and laws that indirectly have a greater impact on women’s ability to earn an income, start a business, or get a job. The Women, Business and the Law project worked with contributors in each of the economies covered to determine the sources of gender differentiation in the law. The methodology was designed to be an easily replicable way to benchmark the legal and regulatory environment for women as entrepreneurs and employees.

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Assumptions

It is assumed that the woman

  • Resides in the main business city of the economy being examined.
  • Has reached the legal age of majority and is capable of making decisions as an adult; if there is no legal age of majority, the woman is assumed to be 30 years old.
  • Is sane, competent, in good health and has no criminal record.
  • Is a lawful citizen of the economy examined.
  • Where the question assumes the woman or man is married, the marriage is monogamous and registered with the authorities.

  • Where the question assumes the woman or man is unmarried, she or he has never been married.
  • Where the answer differs according to the legal system applicable to the woman in question (as may be the case in economies where there is legal plurality), the answer used will be the one that applies to the majority of the population.

Answers to the questions are based on codified law and not how that law is applied in practice. Therefore, customary law is not taken into account unless it has been codified. Questions on the status of customary law within the legal system refer to its existence and position within the hierarchy of legislation but do not assess its content. Reciprocal restrictions that govern the conduct of both spouses are not covered; this indicator measures only restrictions that govern the conduct of the wife, but not the husband.

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Assumptions

It is assumed that the woman

  • Resides in the economy’s main business city.
  • Has reached the legal age of majority and is capable of making decisions as an adult; if there is no legal age of majority, the woman is assumed to be 30 years old.
  • Is sane, competent, in good health and has no criminal record.
  • Is a lawful citizen of the economy being examined.
  • Where the question assumes that the woman or man is unmarried, she or he has never been married.
  • Where the question assumes that the woman or man is married, the marriage is monogamous and registered with the authorities.
  • Where the question assumes that the woman or man is married, the marital property regime under which she or he is married is assumed to be the default marital property regime, and it is also assumed that the marital property regime will not change during the course of the marriage.
  • Where the answer differs according to the legal system that applies to the woman —as may occur in economies where legal plurality exists—the answer used will be the one that applies to the majority of the population.

The answers to these questions are based on the law as codified in the main business city and not the practice of that law. Therefore, customary law is not taken into account unless it has been codified. Social or cultural norms are also not taken into account.

The questions for the using property indicator are designed to determine what management and control of marital property looks like in the default marital property regime in each economy covered. For all questions relating to the ability of married women to carry out activities independently of their husbands, the key concern is reciprocity. Unequal treatment is counted only where a married man can carry out the activity, and his wife is not able to do so equally.

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Assumptions

It is assumed that the woman

  • Resides in the economy’s main business city.
  • Has reached the legal age of majority and is capable of making decisions as an adult.
  • Is sane, competent, in good health and has no criminal record.
  • Where the question assumes that the woman or man is married, the marriage is monogamous and it is registered with the authorities.
  • Where the question assumes that the woman or man is unmarried, she or he has never been married.
  • Where the answer differs according to the legal system that applies to the woman —as may be the case in economies where legal plurality exists—the answer used will be the one that applies to the majority of the population.

The answers are based on codified law and not whether it is applied in practice. Therefore customary law is not taken into account unless it has been codified.

This topic assesses both indirect and direct differentiation in the law with relation to women’s access to the judicial system. For the first subtopic on equality of access, three questions examine the existence of courts to adjudicate matters of customary or personal law and assess the value of a woman’s testimony in court relative to a man.

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Assumptions

It is assumed that the woman:

  • Resides in the economy’s main business city.
  • Has reached the legal age of majority and is capable of making decisions as an adult.
  • For purposes of determining the retirement and pensionable age, that she is currently 40 years old and started working at age 25.
  • Is sane, competent, in good health and has no criminal record.
  • Has been working long enough to accrue all benefits, including any maternity, parental or retirement benefits.
  • Will be nursing until the child is 1 year old.
  • For purposes of determining the retirement and pensionable age, that she has raised only one child.
  • Is working as a cashier in the food retail sector in a supermarket or grocery store of at least 60 employees.
  • Is a lawful citizen of the economy being examined.
  • For purposes of determining maternity or parental leave, that she gave birth to her first child without complications on or after January 1, 2014, at age 30, and her child is in good health.

It is assumed that the man:

  • Resides in the country’s main business city.
  • Has reached the legal age of majority and is capable of making decisions as an adult.
  • For purposes of determining the retirement and pensionable age, that he is currently 40 years old and started working at age 25.
  • Is sane, competent, in good health and has no criminal record.
  • Has been working long enough to accrue all benefits, including any paternity, parental or retirement benefits.
  • Is working as a cashier in the food retail sector in a supermarket or grocery store of at least 60 employees.
  • Has completed infant care training courses, which sometimes serve as a prerequisite for extended paternity leave.
  • Is a lawful citizen of the economy being examined.
  • For purposes of determining paternity leave or parental leave, has a first child who was born  on or after January 1, 2014, without complications, was 30 years old when his child was born, and the child is in good health.

In general, the answers to the questions in the getting a job category are based on written law and not collective bargaining agreements; however, the latter are taken into account when two conditions are met:

  • They cover more than 50% of the work force in the food retail sector.
  • They apply to individuals who were not party to the original collective bargaining agreement.

Download as PDF

Assumptions

It is assumed that the woman

  • Resides in the main business city of the economy being examined.
  • Has reached the legal age of majority and is capable of making decisions as an adult. If there is no legal age of majority, the woman is assumed to be 30 years old.
  • Is sane, competent, in good health, has no criminal record and is a lawful citizen of the economy where she resides.

The answers to the questions below are based on statutory or codified law for civil law systems, and on case law, which for common law systems is law established by judicial decisions in cases that set binding precedents. Customary law is not taken into account unless it has been codified or upheld by case law. The answers are based solely on the letter of the law and not on how the law is applied in practice.