Nigeria is missing on a list of 40 countries that improved regulatory environment for women’s economic participation over the past two years. This was disclosed in the World Bank’s study.
The study, “Women Business and the Law (WBL) 2020”, which measures 190 economies, tracking how laws affect women at different stages in their working lives. It also focused on those laws applicable in main business cities, judges the 40 countries on the enactment of 62 reforms that will help women.
Women are half of the world’s population: With women in many countries having only a fraction of legal rights men have, there is a need for reforms to aid the realization of their potential and help them contribute to economic growth and development, a new World Bank study has said.
David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group disclosed that legal rights for women are both the right thing to do and good from an economic perspective. He added that when women can move more freely, work outside the home and manage assets, they are more likely to join the workforce and help strengthen their country’s economies.
“We stand ready to help until every woman can move through her life without facing legal barriers to her success,” Malpass said.
In Nigeria, while the financial inclusion level is on the upswing, it is mostly men that are captured into the system, while women, across regions of the country, are affected by religious, cultural and educational factors, limiting their potential.
However, Nigeria may have attained some of the reforms, with the majority being mere norms and practices, a lack of full legislative backing and implementation is still a challenge to the achievement of the targets, while women’s economic participation continue to under-perform.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, 11 economies implemented 16 reforms in seven areas. The Democratic Republic of Congo introduced social insurance maternity benefits and equalized retirement ages, while in Côte d’Ivoire, spouses now have equal rights to own and manage property.
The World Bank study covered reforms in eight areas that are associated with women’s economic empowerment, conducted from June 2017 to September 2019, precisely on mobility, workplace, pay, marriage, parenthood, entrepreneurship, assets and pension.