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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. 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.

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

This research analyzes the evolution of maternity and paternity leave across the world, covering 190 countries over 52 years. The data show striking differences both within and between countries 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 ...

This Brief presents new data collected by the World Bank’s Women, Business, and the Law project on the legal barriers that women with disabilities face when accessing economic opportunities in 190 economies. The new data set suggests that only one-quarter of economies worldwide explicitly protect and promote the rights of women with disabilities. The Brief also provides insights why the 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

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.

Child care incentive fund

Toward Available, Affordable, and Quality Childcare Regional Briefs

The Women Business and the Law regional brief series assesses the regulatory frameworks around availability, affordability, and quality of childcare services across different regions of the world. These regional briefs shed light on essential entry points for facilitating and informing policy dialogue around the key demand and supply side that limit or facilitate formal provision of childcare services.

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.

Women, Business and the Law Economy Summaries

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.

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.

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.

Regional Profiles

The regional profile series presents data on laws, regulations, and reform trends that advance women’s economic empowerment. It 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.


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The Rights of Women with Disabilities

This topic note showcases the results of a pilot research on the legal rights of women with disabilities in 176 economies as part of the 10 Commitments on Disability-Inclusive Development.

50 Years of Women's Rights

How have women’s legal rights evolved over the last 50 years? This infographic explores how more than 1,500 reforms enhancing women’s economic empowerment were passed in every country over the past 50 years.

Protecting Women from Violence

This topic note examines the legally-mandated access and existence of certain key support services in a set of 100 economies on regulation aimed at closing gaps between laws and their implementation.

Tackling Childcare

This note showcases how different countries regulate private childcare services. It builds awareness of how quality childcare services are linked to women’s economic empowerment and identifies areas for reform.

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

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

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