Mind the gap

155 countries ‘have laws hindering women’s economic progress’

Women in Middle Eastern and North African countries like Egypt face the harshest obstacles. MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images

A new report released by the World Bank shows that the world still has a long way to go when it comes to the economic empowerment of women, as many nations still have laws in place that hinder women’s economic opportunities. Looking at 173 countries, the World Bank report found that 155 countries had at least one law in place limiting women’s economic opportunities, while 100 countries put restrictions on the type of work a woman can do. In 18 countries, women can’t get a job without the permission of their husband. Women in the Middle East and North Africa face the harshest obstacles, while 18 countries (including Canada, Peru and Namibia) did not restrict women’s economic empowerment at all (on the seven indicators studied by the World Bank). Nevertheless, progress has also been made, as the report notes that in the past two years 65 nations (most of them developing states) have made 94 legal reforms to improve gender equality.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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