Research has called into question the notion that economic growth alone increases gender equality. Because gender equality favors a variety of positive development outcomes, economies that integrate women into the workforce through continuous policy commitments to gender equality could experience higher economic growth. Conversely, gender-based legal restrictions are estimated to significantly decrease female labor force participation and undermine GDP growth.
Women, Business and the Law 2016 builds on the growing body of research and empirical evidence that stresses the importance of legal and institutional frameworks in shaping women's economic rights and opportunities and improving gender equality.
- Accessing institutions: explores women’s legal ability to interact with public authorities and the private sector in the same ways as men.
- Using property:analyzes women’s ability to access and use property based on their ability to own, manage, control and inherit it.
- Getting a job: assesses restrictions on women’s work, such as prohibitions on working at night or in certain jobs. This indicator also covers laws on work-related maternity, paternity, parental benefits, retirement ages, equal remuneration for work of equal value and nondiscrimination in hiring.
- Providing incentives:examines personal income tax credits and deductions available to women relative to men, and the provision of childcare and education services.
- Building credit: identifies minimum loan thresholds in private credit bureaus and public credit registries, and tracks those which collect information from microfinance institutions, utilities and retailers.
- Going to court:considers the ease and affordability of accessing justice by examining small-claims courts, as well as a woman’s ability to testify in court and the incidence of women on constitutional courts.
- Protecting women:examines the existence of legislation on domestic violence and sexual harassment.