World Bank Report Highlights Economic Impact of Gender Gap in Workforce, Suggests 20% GDP Growth with Full Female Participation



The World Bank has released a report highlighting the significant gender gap in the workplace, emphasizing that the disparity is much wider than previously estimated. The report introduces two new indicators focused on women’s safety and child care, expanding beyond legal frameworks to also address the mechanisms for implementing laws and measuring outcomes. The findings show that women possess only two-thirds of the legal rights afforded to men, a gap much larger than earlier measurements indicated. No country achieved a perfect score, indicating universal room for improvement. The report also explores the economic implications of gender inequality, revealing that women hold only one in five board positions globally, and in many countries, women still earn significantly less than men for the same work.

  • The World Bank’s report, Women Business and the Law 2024, reveals a wider gender gap in the workplace than previously thought.
  • Two new indicators on women’s safety and child care have been added to the report, expanding the scope beyond legal rights to include implementation and outcomes.
  • Women have only two-thirds of the legal rights afforded to men, with no country achieving a perfect score on gender equality.
  • The report emphasizes the importance of not only enacting strong laws for gender equality but also investing in institutions and systems for their effective implementation.
  • Globally, women occupy only 20% of board positions, 94 countries lack provisions for equal pay, and women earn significantly less than men.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa leads in legal reforms to increase gender equality, followed by the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Central Asia.
  • In 28 economies, women cannot pass their nationality to their children or spouses in the same way men can, impacting economic mobility and access to services.
  • The report highlights the necessity of sex-disaggregated data to better understand and address the disparities in how women and men are treated in the workforce and entrepreneurship.
  • Efforts to increase birth rates should not come at the expense of gender equality, suggesting the need for policies such as paid parental leave for both parents and accessible, affordable child care.

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