Frequently Asked Questions

Expand the sections below for answers to frequently asked questions about the Women, Business and the Law project. If your question is not listed below, please write to us at and we will get back to you with a response.

For additional information, visit the Methodology page, the Presentations section, and check the Data Notes for Women, Business and the Law 2021.

Last Updated: February 2021

How are Women, Business and the Law data collected?

Following extensive consultations with gender experts, academics, civil society representatives, and colleagues within the World Bank Group, the Women, Business and the Law team designs questionnaires that are administered to a large sample of lawyers, judges, academics, and members of civil society organizations in 190 economies. These local experts—who complete the questionnaires on a pro bono basis—are identified by their expertise in the various areas of law covered by the report.

The team further engages with local experts through conference calls, written correspondence, and in-person meetings on country visits. All questionnaire responses are then analyzed, with each answer verified against the corresponding primary legal source. Lastly, the data undergoes a thorough internal review process in which comments on the data are received from across the World Bank Group.

The Women, Business and the Law 2021 index consists of 35 scored questions across eight indicators: Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Marriage, Parenthood, Entrepreneurship, Assets, and Pension. In addition to the data published in the seven Women, Business and the Law reports, the team has recalculated the 35 scored data points and built a 50-year panel showcasing the evolution of women’s rights from 1970 until today.

Information on the construction of the panel, the methodology, and the scoring for each question can be found in the report's Data Notes, available on the Women, Business and the Law website at: