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World Bank Tokyo Online Morning Seminar #193 “Women, Business, and the Law 2024”

May 10, 2024

The global gender gap for women in the workplace is far wider than previously thought, a groundbreaking new World Bank Group report shows. When legal differences involving violence and childcare are taken into account, women enjoy fewer than two-thirds the rights of men. No country provides equal opportunity for women—not even the wealthiest economies.

The latest Women, Business, and the Law report offers a comprehensive picture of the obstacles that women face in entering the global workforce and contributing to greater prosperity—for themselves, their families, and their communities. It expands the scope of its analysis, adding two indicators that can be critical in opening up or restricting women’s options: safety from violence and access to childcare services. When those measures are included, women on average enjoy just 64% of the legal protections that men do—far fewer than the previous estimate of 77%.

The gender gap is even wider in practice. For the first time, Women, Business and the Law assesses the gap between legal reforms and actual outcomes for women in 190 economies. The analysis reveals a shocking implementation gap. Although laws on the books imply that women enjoy roughly two-thirds the rights of men, countries on average have established less than 40% of the systems needed for full implementation. For example, 98 economies have enacted legislation mandating equal pay for women for work of equal value. Yet only 35 economies—fewer than one out of every five—have adopted pay-transparency measures or enforcement mechanisms to address the pay gap.

Effective implementation of equal-opportunity laws depends on an adequate supporting framework, including strong enforcement mechanisms, a system for tracking gender-related pay disparities, and the availability of healthcare services for women who survive violence.

At this online seminar, Viktoria Khaitina and Liang Shen, Analysts from Women, Business, and the Law Project, shared the main findings of the report.  


8am-9am, Friday May 10, 2024 (Japan Standard Time)


Viktoria Khaitina
Analyst, Women, Business, and the Law Project, World Bank

Liang Shen
Analysts from Women, Business, and the Law Project, World Bank

Presentation Material

Women, Business and the Law 2024 findings (PDF)


Related Seminars

World Bank Group Morning Seminar


  • DATE/TIME: 8am-9am, Friday May 10, 2024 (JST)
  • FORMAT: Online (Youtube) *No registration is required
  • LANGUAGE: English (no interpretation to Japanese)
  • CONTACT: Koichi Omori, World Bank Tokyo Office