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Countries cannot move forward if half of their citizens are held back

Equal treatment of women under the law is necessary for dynamic & resilient economies. The 2023 report finds that 176 countries maintain legal barriers to women’s full economic participation.

The Road to Reforming Ethiopia’s Policies on Maternity and Paternity Leave

This brief provides insight into how Ethiopia increased the duration of paid maternity leave from 90 to 120 days and introduced three days of paid paternity leave in 2019.

Emerging Trends in National Financial Inclusion Strategies that Support Women’...

This Brief presents data collected by the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law (WBL) project on selected contours of National Financial Inclusion Strategies that can support women’s entrepreneurship.


Voices of Female Entrepreneurs

Featuring WE Empower Challenge awardees and finalists who share their stories and discuss laws that facilitate women’s entrepreneurship as well as remaining opportunities for legal reform to further advance women’s economic empowerment.

Gendered Laws and Women’s Financial Inclusion

Documenting the relationship between legal gender equality and the use of financial services, using individual-level data from 148 developed and developing economies.

Childcare briefs

Childcare Regional Briefs

Essential entry points for facilitating and informing policy dialogue about childcare services.

Safeguarding the Rights of Women with Disabilities to Family Life, Work, and ...

Laws around the world largely fail to protect the rights of women with disabilities.

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

Landmark reforms in São Tomé and Príncipe provide insights on the necessary elements to carry out meaningful reforms for gender equality.

The Evolution of Maternity and Paternity Leave Policies over Five Decades: A ...

Data show striking differences in how leave distribution for parents upon the birth of a child has evolved.

The Importance of Designing Gender and Disability Inclusive Laws: A Survey of ...

Legal recognition of multiple forms of discrimination is a key element to achieve the full inclusion of women with disabilities and enable societies to thrive in the long run.

Reforming Discriminatory Laws to Empower Women in Togo

Togo's recent reforms to the Persons and Family Code were driven by women’s civil society organizations, engaging a wide variety of stakeholders.


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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.

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.

Women with Disabilities

WBL is collecting and analyzing data on the rights of women with disabilities under family law, labor law, and violence against women legislation.

Discriminatory Laws Against Women: A Survey of Literature

This working paper reviews the empirical literature on the impact of gender discriminatory laws on women’s outcomes across various domains constituting Women, Business and the Law’s measure of gender inequality.

Saving for Old Age

Differences women face in their working lives relative to men can result in unequal economic outcomes in retirement. This case study examines the gender gap in access to pensions.

Women's Financial Inclusion and the Law

A case study examining how discriminatory laws can affect women’s demand for financial services.

Ending Violence against Women and Girls

Part of a series that assesses the role of laws and specific programs or interventions in ending violence against women.

Explore our Indicators


Examining constraints on women’s freedom of movement.


Analyzing laws affecting women’s decisions to enter and remain in the labor force.


Measuring laws and regulations concerning job restrictions and the gender wage gap.


Assessing legal constraints related to marriage.


Evaluating laws affecting women’s work after having children.


Examining constraints women face when starting and running a business.


Analyzing gender differences in property and inheritance law.


Assessing laws affecting the size of a woman’s pension.

Additional Information


Norman Loayza

Director, Global Indicators Group

Tea Trumbic

Manager, Women, Business and the Law, Global Indicators Group

Meet the Team Arrow


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Joseph Rebello
Media Inquiries
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