Research

Use the resources here to take action on gender equality today, and check back regularly for updates.

Areas of Research

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Measuring the Legal Environment in Practice

This pilot project presents a new conceptual framework for measuring the implementation gap by examining supportive frameworks for primary legislation and expert opinions of laws in practice.

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Toward Available, Affordable, and Quality Childcare Services

Women, Business and the Law presents a new conceptual framework for measuring the legal environment around the provision of childcare services. Related research provides further analysis of the data.

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Women with Disabilities

To better understand the impact of such multiple discrimination, WBL is conducting research on the rights of women with disabilities. As part of The World Bank Group’s Commitments on Disability-Inclusive Development, WBL is collecting and analyzing data on the rights of women with disabilities under family law, labor law, and violence against women legislation.

Featured

Legal Reforms to Protect Women at Home and at Work in São Tomé and Príncipe

This Brief examines the introduction of landmark reforms in São Tomé and Príncipe to counter domestic and family violence and to protect women, both at home and at work. e enactment of laws on domestic and family violence, and the subsequent introduction of the country’s new Penal Code and, more recently, the Labor Code, were each made possible due to a combination of factors. Women’s active participation in public life, multistakeholder coalitions, and awareness-raising campaigns advanced the reform agenda. The lessons learned from this process can provide insights to international organizations, advocates, and policymakers on the necessary elements to carry out meaningful reforms for gender equality.

Reforming Discriminatory Laws to Empower Women in Togo

This Brief examines two reforms, enacted between 2012 and 2014, that lifted previous restrictions to women’s rights in Togo. The reforms to the Persons and Family Code were driven by women’s civil society organizations engaging a wide variety of stakeholders, including the government and the international community. The Brief explores this reform process, while also indicating the remaining barriers to women’s full equality in Togo.

Key Ingredients to Women’s Legal Rights in Kenya

This brief focuses on a series of reforms in Kenya, specifically, the adoption of the Sexual Offenses Act of 2006, the Employment Act of 2007, and the Protection Against Domestic Violence Act of 2015. The lessons in this brief can provide important insights for policy makers, advocacy groups and international organizations involved in the pursuit of legal gender equality in Kenya and other countries.

Reforms to Enhance Gender Equality in the Democratic Republic of Congo: From ...

This brief examines the introduction of the Law on Parity in 2015 and an amendment to the Family Code in 2016. These two examples highlight three success factors: gender champions across local civil society groups; government and international actors making the economic case for reforming discriminatory provisions; and international obligations that allowed the reforms to pass.

Challenging Entrenched Marital Power in South Africa

This brief examines more than three decades of reform toward removing the husband's marital power from South African legislation, offering important insights on optimal contexts for change and the role of women in ongoing advocacy efforts.

Women, Business and the Law Economy Summary Series

The economy summary series delves into legal reforms that advance women’s economic empowerment. It also identifies gaps that persist before men and women achieve equality before the law. Each summary draws on Women, Business and the Law data from 1970 to 2020 and input from civil society organizations.

Women, Business and the Law Regional Profiles

The regional profile series presents data about laws, regulations, and reform trends that advance women’s economic empowerment. It also highlights persistent gaps and identifies best practices to help achieve equality before the law. Each profile draws on Women, Business and the Law data from 1970 to 2020. Regional profiles in the series include Western and Central Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa, and South Asia.

By Category

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Briefs

Researching the relationship between gender equality and economic growth.