Women, Business and the Law


Covering 187 economies, Women, Business and the Law provides comparable data across eight topics. The methodology was designed as an easily replicable benchmark of the legal environment for women as entrepreneurs and employees. To gain new insight into how women’s employment and entrepreneurship choices are affected by legal gender discrimination, Women, Business and the Law 2019: A Decade of Reform examines 35 questions by building a timeseries measuring gender discrimination over the past ten years. While many questions are consistent with previous cycles of Women, Business and the Law, some questions have been combined or reformulated. The study analyzes Women, Business and the Law data through an index structured around the economic decisions women make as they go through different stages of their working lives. The index is based on statistically significant associations with outcomes related to women’s economic empowerment, in particular with women’s labor force participations as well as with other outcomes of interest. To further inform such discussions, Women, Business and the Law 2019 provides scores for each economy covered. Thirty-five data points are scored across eight indicators of 4 or 5 binary questions, with each indicator representing a different phase of a woman’s career. 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.

View the complete methodology by question below or download here. For more information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.