Women, Business and the Law 2021: Long way to go for Islamic economies as 75% score below world average
75% of Islamic countries scored below the world average on The World Bank’s latest Women, Business and the Law Index, indicating a long way to go to achieve equal opportunities for men and women across Muslim-majority nations.
The index of 190 countries analyses economic rights during different milestones in a woman’s working life through eight indicators: mobility, workplace, pay, marriage, parenthood, entrepreneurship, assets, and pension.
The 2021 report, covering the period September 2019 to October 2020, said that on average, women around the world still have only three-fourths the legal rights of men.
“This matters because better performance in the areas measured by the Women, Business and the Law index is associated with a narrower gender gap in development outcomes, more female policy makers, higher female labour force participation, and lower vulnerable employment,” said The World Bank on Tuesday (Feb 23).
Overall, ten countries scored 100, reflecting equal opportunities for men and women: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Sweden.
Global average scores for the 190 economies analysed was 76.1 in 2020, up from 75.5 in 2019.
56 of the 190 economies fall below the world average. 42 of these in the bottom 40% are member countries or territories of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. In all, there are 56 Islamic economies on The World Bank Index.
BIGGEST MOVERS: UAE, KSA, BAHRAIN
14 Islamic economies scored above the world average, led by Albania, Guyana and Togo.
Among the Islamic nations, the UAE was the biggest improver, jumping 23.1 points from 59.4 to 82.5 in this year’s Index.
President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said this is a result of new laws and more than twenty legislative reforms focused on enhancing women’s economic participation, reported state news agency WAM.
The UAE scored a full 100 in five indicators: mobility, workplace, pay, entrepreneurship, and pension.
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain both improved by 9.4 points, reaching 80 and 55.6, respectively.
Saudi Arabia eliminated all restrictions on women’s employment and scored 100 points in the same exact five indicators as the UAE.
Bahrain made job opportunities more equal for men and women by eliminating discriminatory restrictions on women’s employment in arduous jobs, and improved access to credit for women by prohibiting gender-based discrimination in financial services.
Bahrain scored a full 100 for entrepreneurship.
|56||West Bank and Gaza||26.3||26.3||0.0|
|Data source: The World Bank|
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