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Women, Business and the Law


Women, Business and the Law measures legal differences between men’s and women’s access to economic opportunities in 190 economies. Thirty-five aspects of the law are scored across eight indicators of four or five binary questions. Each indicator represents a different phase of a woman’s career. The methodology was designed as an easily replicable measure of the legal environment for women as entrepreneurs and employees. We update the data based on feedback from respondents with expertise in family, labor and criminal law. Indicator-level scores are obtained by calculating the unweighted average of the questions within that indicator and scaling the result to 100. Overall scores are then calculated by taking the average of each indicator, with 100 representing the highest possible score. 

The Women, Business and the Law methodology is supported by research. The approach builds on the experience of the World Bank’s Doing Business project, which develops objective indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights across 190 economies. To see the latest research paper supporting the methodology, click here.

View all indicators below or download the complete questionnaires used to collect data for the 2020 publication related to Family, Labor and Violence Against Women. For more information, please check the data notes for Women, Business and the Law 2020, and also see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Women, Business and the Law is collecting new data related to the COVID-19 pandemic in its questionnaires. The research questions collect additional data on measures that governments have implemented to address the challenges faced by women, as employees and as entrepreneurs, during the pandemic. The data analysis will include information on temporary and permanent measures related to employment regulation, social protection, parenthood benefits, and childcare. It will also include measures affecting access to family courts, justice systems, and specialized services aimed at protecting women from violence. More details are available here.