About Us

Women, Business and the Law (WBL) is a World Bank Group project collecting data on the laws and policy mechanisms that measure the enabling environment for women’s economic opportunity.


When societies achieve gender equality, economies become more resilient. That's why Women, Business and the Law is committed to informing research and policy discussions about the state of women’s economic opportunities and empowerment. Women, Business and the Law demonstrates the progress made while emphasizing the work still to be done to ensure economic empowerment for all.


Since 2009, Women, Business and the Law has been enhancing the study of gender equality and informing discussions on improving women's economic opportunities and empowerment. The dataset offers objective and measurable benchmarks for global progress toward gender equality. Comparable across economies, the data is useful for research and policy discussions on improving women's economic opportunities. This year, the study presents two sets of data: Women, Business and the Law 1.0 and an expanded version, Women, Business and the Law 2.0. 

Women, Business and the Law 1.0 covers 190 economies and eight topics relevant to women's economic participation.

Women, Business and the Law 2.0 introduces a new framework for measuring the implementation gap. It analyzes laws—de jure— and examines the existence of frameworks supporting implementation of the law and gauges experts’ opinions on the outcome of the law for women—de facto. Women, Business and the Law 2.0 introduces two new indicators – Safety and Childcare – and revises its ongoing indicators.


Women, Business and the Law 2024 introduces a new framework with three pillars—legal frameworks, supportive frameworks, and expert opinions—to measure the differences on access to economic opportunities between men and women in 190 economies. The data and analysis highlight the work still to be done to ensure economic empowerment for all. All our previous reports are available for download on the Reports page.


Women, Business and the Law is researched and written by a team of experienced lawyers and experts. Meet the team.


The Women, Business and the Law Manual and Guide describes the production process for the WBL reports. It serves as an official source of information for team members and interested stakeholders. It aims to depict, consolidate, and codify rules and protocols in a comprehensive way. This document also includes processes intended to shield the team from the undue influence of internal and external stakeholders, presenting the available resources to report and address any such instances. It aims to ensure the transparency, quality, and integrity of our data and research.

To ensure fairness and transparency in the data collection process, the Women, Business and the Law team has created a Government Engagement Portal through which government officials and World Bank Group colleagues may request meetings and provide the team with information regarding potential reforms or data corrections by completing an online Data Updates Submission (DUS) Form.

Data Updates can be submitted through the Government Engagement Portal during each data collection cycle from one month after the start of data collection until two weeks after the data cutoff date. The Women, Business and the Law team reviews and sends written responses to all information submitted through the Government Engagement Portal no later than two months after data collection closes. In the response, the Women, Business and the Law team explains the assessment of the particular economy data to the issue raised based on the relevant methodology and provides a conclusion.

Since 2022, the team publishes the information received through the Government Engagement Portal. Read the data updates submitted by governments by clicking here.

Support for Women, Business and the Law is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Childcare Incentive Fund; Human Rights, Inclusion and Empowerment Umbrella Trust Fund; Jobs Umbrella Multi-Donor Trust Fund; Knowledge for Change Program; State and Peacebuilding Fund; United States Agency for International Development; and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.